May 24, 2022
Last Updated On:
May 25, 2022

Improve Air Quality in Schools with ESSER Funds

Learn more about using your school district's ESSER funds for your needed infrastructure updates to improve indoor air quality in your schools.

Last Updated On:
May 25, 2022

Improving air quality has been a goal of schools across the country, especially in the age of COVID-19. High air quality goes well beyond just pandemic-related concerns; however, improving air quality in schools leads to better learning environments, reduces absenteeism and sick leave, and enhances staff productivity. Unfortunately, many schools do not have the resources to upgrade and maintain the infrastructure required for high-quality air.

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to upgrade school infrastructure to improve air quality in schools. This gives school districts the rare opportunity to bring the facilities across their school districts up-to-date. The funds available to school districts are the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and America Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Act.

School districts across the country now have access to billions of dollars in aid. Administrators can use these funds to upgrade their school’s aging infrastructure and improve indoor environmental quality and air quality.

ESSER Funds Overview and Timeline

Even though the ESSER Fund was created through federal government legislation, the federal government is not in charge of distributing these funds. ESSER Funds are dispersed through each state. States must allocate 90% of ESSER funds to school districts and charter schools.

States are then tasked with distributing the funds in the form of grants to Local Education (LEA) Agencies. States award grants to K-12 public school districts and other charter schools that qualify as LEAs. School districts send grant applications through the state’s Department of Education website. Grants are then awarded through contracts for projects that are approved.

ESSER funds are “use it or lose it.” States must award grants within one year, or they have to return the funds for reallocation. ESSER has allocation deadlines in 2021, 2022, and 2023. These funds can be used for school repairs and improvements, such as ventilation projects that improve indoor air quality.

Below is an overview and timeline of the ESSER schedule of funding, deadlines, and obligations for K-12 schools.

ESSER Relief Funds Timeline And Usage Rules
"Timeline of the ESSER Relief Funds" Source: Iconergy

School districts must take advantage of these ESSER funds and improve their schools’ infrastructure. Because of ESSER, schools are now able to:

● Perform inspections

Test and maintain their HVAC systems

Invest in HEPA filters for air systems

● Purchase new air purification units and installations

● Service and upgrade HVAC systems to improve air quality

Improve School Air Quality with ESSER

Government agencies recommend that school districts work to improve indoor air quality. Upgrading filtration and improving ventilation will result in better air quality indoors. Additionally, upgrading HVAC systems distribute fresh air inside the building, prevents condensation buildup, and reduce contaminants. The EPA has put together a "The Framework for Effective School IAQ Management: Six Key Drivers," which can help school districts, administrators, facility personnel, etc., to address appropriately and manage indoor air quality throughout schools.

The Framework for Effective School IAQ Management by the EPA
"The Framework for Effective School IAQ Management" Source: U.S Environmental Protection Agency

School districts can utilize these funds to improve aging building infrastructure, but decision-makers may be overwhelmed by the number of solutions available and the time constraints. Decision-makers have to make the right long-term choice when it comes to building infrastructure.  

How Sanalife Can Help

Ensure You Get the Funds You Deserve

Sanalife works closely with your school district to create a budget that addresses all of your needs. We analyze your entire school infrastructure to determine the overall health of your systems and your indoor air quality. Based on our findings, we can develop a comprehensive budget that covers any upgrades and sets your school up for long-term success.

We work closely to ensure that your school district submits the correct applications and budget for state approval. Once the budget is approved by the state, our team can get to work to ensure your school has the highest quality indoor air. Our team can also help track expenses for state reimbursement.

Explore Our Education Air Quality Solutions

District-Wide Air Purification Solutions

Sanalife powered by ActivePure Technology offers district-wide coverage solutions for K-12 schools. From HVAC induct solutions to portable options, Sanalife has a solution to meet any school district’s needs. Our air purifiers have a HEPA filter, an integrated UV light, and a carbon filter. ActivePure technology turns air through a classroom 8-10 times an hour. This air purification technology creates oxidizing molecules that significantly reduce viruses, bacteria, odors, and volatile organic compounds.

School administrators have the power to lower COVID-19 transmission within schools. ActivePure has been extensively tested for both its efficacy against airborne and surface contaminants in occupied spaces. When school districts work with ActivePure, they are choosing a long-term solution that will benefit students for decades to come.

Our team will work with you to develop a custom solution to improve indoor air quality in your school buildings and facilities—without driving up energy costs. We carefully consider all factors that can influence air quality, such as square footage, pathogen load, accessibility requirements, and more. With the help of ActivePure, school districts can provide proven air and surface protection to students and faculty for less than $1.50 per square foot.

How Sanalife Works with Your School District

The Sanalife team is here to hold your hand through the entire ESSER funding process. Your school likely does not have the expertise to know the current state of your school’s infrastructure. If that’s the case, Sanalife will work closely with your team to assess your existing infrastructure. Our team consults with you to determine your current indoor air quality, which could be affecting the health of your students and faculty.

Our team will then develop a comprehensive plan to address all CDC and ASHRAE recommendations. This analysis will showcase the current health of your school’s infrastructure as well as what steps you can take to improve indoor air quality. Our team is dedicated to helping school districts identify the best opportunities for infrastructure improvements that result in natural, higher-quality indoor air.

Sanalife will ensure that you get the funding your school is entitled to. We will help guide you through any applications and forms you need to complete for ESSER federal funding and any other form(s) of funding you may need. Sanalife will help you communicate this initiative to all interested stakeholders and parties during the funding process. From concerned parents to the board of education, our team will help you navigate the complexities of upgrading your infrastructure with outside funding.

Sanalife powered by ActivePure Technology helps schools deliver high-quality air. Our air purification technology creates oxidizing molecules that significantly reduce viruses, bacteria, odors, and volatile organic compounds. This technology has been extensively tested for both its efficacy against airborne and surface contaminants in occupied spaces.

Once the project is complete, Sanalife is dedicated to supporting your school district with continued assistance. We can provide service and maintenance to ensure all systems are working at their optimal level. Our team also provides directions and planning blueprints for any ongoing work your maintenance team will take care of.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can use ESSER funds for your school infrastructure updates or improve indoor air quality in your schools? Reach out to our team today.

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