PORTSMOUTH, Virginia (WAVY) – Virginia plans to invest millions in improving air quality systems in public schools through the US rescue plan.
$ 250 million would come from state-allocated aid from the American Rescue Plan, and the corresponding $ 250 million will come from the American Rescue Plan and other aid distributed to local governments (approximately $ 939 million Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II funds were disbursed to local school departments in January and $ 1.9 billion was allocated to school departments through the American Rescue Plan Act (ESSER III).
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The upgrades are key to preventing the spread of airborne diseases in schools, especially COVID-19, says Governor Ralph Northam, as all schools must now allow face-to-face tuition. Northam announced at Hopewell High School that it would start Investment Week to highlight proposals for spending the bailout money.
“This investment will help families, educators, and students feel more confident about the quality of the air they breathe when we return to face-to-face study five days a week this fall,” says Northam.
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Virginia received $ 4.3 billion under the US rescue plan signed by President Joe Biden on March 11th. Local governments in the Commonwealth received $ 2.9 billion.
According to Northam’s office, the investment will enable the completion of nearly all 463 currently planned HVAC projects across the Commonwealth, which will cost $ 623 million.
School departments receive a minimum of $ 200,000 and more, depending on the number of students enrolled.
The General Assembly will take up the expenditure proposal when it meets on August 2nd. Northam has also requested to spend $ 353 million from the US federal rescue plan to help Virginia’s small businesses and $ 700 million to expand broadband access nationwide.