What Are ESSER Funds and How You Can Use Them for Your School?
Providing clean air to the younger generation is an essential, basic need we rarely think about twice. We take it as a given but in reality, the facts are, literally, not so clear.
A little over a month ago, the U.S Department of Education initiative presented the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure as part of the ARP - American Rescue Plan, supporting the American nation dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This action plan is the umbrella for the ESSER fund for K-12 schools. It is dedicated to providing grants to increase school safety with one top priority - Improving air quality in the classrooms, a growing problem affecting students, teachers, and staff across the United States.
Vice President Kamala Harris addressed those issues in her speech to the nation on April 5th, discussing the poor indoor quality some of our students are experiencing without the parents even realizing it when they send their kids to school day in and day out. She called it as it is, stating some children in the U.S are suffering from “Dangerous air quality” in the classroom and officially launched a $500 Million grant program led by the Department of Energy.
Why is This Subject Taking a Front Seat?
- Health-wise: The Covid-19 pandemic has been a struggle and the government recognized the unexpected nature of the pandemic. Working now towards cleaner air in classrooms can help the students, teachers, and staff affected by Covid-19 and also the ones dealing with allergies, asthma, and different breathing-related issues.
- A focus on maintaining In-school learning: Purifying air in the schools has direct health benefits that can support indoor learning, with fewer chances of infectious respiratory diseases being spread across classrooms.
- Quality of learning has changed: The past two years have tremendously affected schools in the U.S. The pandemic has been a shock to the education systems at all levels and with cleaner, healthier settings, students can have an easier time getting back into the rhythm.
- Supporting mental and physical health: Air pollution has proved hazardous for the human mind, body and brain, especially when discussing kids' neurological and physical development. Eliminating stale air, unwanted airborne particles and harmful pollutants from the air can directly help fight and avoid many health issues.
How Can Schools Use the ESSER’s Help for Their Benefit?
- Install an air management system, working to purify the air, just as we do in Aura Air.
- Create a strategy for air control - testing and maintaining healthy levels of clean air in the classrooms year-round.
- Purchase air purifiers to be used on school buses to help prevent infections on the way to school.
- Upgrade a current air quality control system with new air filters and purifiers or install completely new HVAC systems, depending on the school's needs.
What is Unique About the ESSER Emergency Relief Fund?
- Funds are used differently: On top of air quality that is significantly improved, school funds can be reinvested in the school programs, in the school appearance and infrastructure, in the school’s staff salaries, and in extracurricular activities and events, all benefiting the children's overall experience in the school and classrooms.
- Ecological Benefits are taken into consideration: Solar panels and less electricity than ever are being used to power air purifiers that battle pollution, allergens, and toxins in the air.
- Governmental Support: The schools are not dependent on their state or city alone, they can enjoy funding directly from the government to better their community needs.
Your schools can and should take advantage of the governmental support provided by the ESSER funds. Read more about Aura Air’s unique solution and learn how to plan your route towards establishing funds and enjoy a cleaner, better, safer school environment on the official American Rescue Plan website.