The Center for Green Schools, with partner UndauntedK12, has released new guidance for school and district leaders planning for the use of federal COVID-19 relief funding. Between the CARES Act (March 2020), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (December 2020), and the American Rescue Plan Act (March 2021), Congress has approved nearly $190 billion to assist schools with the many additional burdens and responsibilities they’ve taken on in the midst of the pandemic.
School districts have difficult choices to make about how best to use the resources they are being given, and the U.S. Department of Education guidance has made it clear that the burden is on districts to demonstrate that they are using the funding in a way that is consistent with its intent as COVID-19 relief. Investing in healthy, green schools is good for infection control, for overall occupant well-being, for long-term financial health and for student learning—and the COVID-19 relief funds open up many opportunities to advance these goals together.
The guidance Five Guiding Principles: How Schools Can Use Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds to Ensure Healthy, Green Schools builds on the well-received executive summary published in April 2021 and adds research-backed briefings for each of the five principles, as well as compelling examples from schools across the country. These principles are building blocks that school district leaders can use to create plans with long-term benefits for their students and communities.
To educate USGBC members, green schools advocates and school district champions about the opportunities within the COVID-19 relief funds for K–12 schools, the Center for Green Schools and UndauntedK12 will host a virtual training at 2 p.m. Eastern on July 22 for all interested in learning more. Register to join the training.