Mass. School Committees Demand State Cover Coronavirus Costs

More than 100 school committees say it’s the state's responsibility to make sure each school is able to pay for coronavirus-related measures

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School committees across Massachusetts are calling on the state to shoulder the financial burden associated with making schools safe for students in the fall.

More than 100 school committees have passed resolutions asking the state to reimburse them for costs including personal protective equipment and additional staff as they all prepare to reopen in some form this fall, according to the Boston Globe.

The resolution claims that it’s the responsibility of the state to make sure each school is able to pay for the additional staffing, inducing teachers and bus drivers needed to ensure smaller groups, as well as masks and other supplies, since these are mandatory guidelines.

The state released guidelines for schools this fall.

School reopening guidelines released last week call for students in the second grade and up -- as well as adults -- to wear masks or face coverings and maintain physical distance. Desks should be a minimum of three feet apart but ideally six feet apart. Students will also likely have to eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms.

The guidelines say schools should have extra disposable masks for students who need them, hand sanitizer placed throughout the building and an isolated space, separate from the nurse’s office, where students who shows symptoms during the school day can stay until they can be picked up. 

Many districts are facing tight budgets. Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that he is making available $200 million in additional funding for school district costs related to reopening.

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