WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is lauding the inclusion of funding directed to improve air ventilation systems in elementary and secondary schools in the emergency COVID-19 relief package. Senator Heinrich has been championing the effort to provide funding for elementary and secondary schools to improve indoor air quality using proven technologies and reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In October, Heinrich introduced the Keeping Schools Safe Act, and has been working with educators from districts across New Mexico during the pandemic to create safer indoor environments in schools.
The emergency COVID-19 relief package provides $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools, including support for HVAC repair and replacement to mitigate virus transmission and reopen classrooms. Congress is expected to vote on the legislation soon, which includes this provision and several others to provide much-needed relief to New Mexicans.
“If we follow the science, we can make pragmatic changes and use proven, innovative technologies to create safer learning environments now and into the future,” said Heinrich. “I’m pleased we were able to secure funding for elementary and secondary schools to improve air quality and ventilation – putting them one step closer to safely reopening.”
One path to aid in safely reopening schools and school districts across the country is to invest in air filtration, ventilation, and air purification technologies. However, the cost of these technologies is high. From the $82 billion secured in the bipartisan agreement, $54.3 billion will go to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund for schools to be able to improve ventilation systems and help meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.