PRESS RELEASE: ICYMI: Without Congressional Action, Schools Might Not Be Able To Test For Covid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
Jack Miller, Communications Director
ICYMI: Without Congressional Action, Schools Might Not Be Able To Test For Covid
In Case You Missed It – Federal funding that made in-school COVID testing possible in Kentucky, and districts across the country, is running out.
On average, the Jefferson County Public School system was running 25,000 tests per week at drive-through sites and in classrooms for students and their families. JCPS District Health Manager Eva Stone said the testing effort was “critically important” to the district’s pandemic response.
Across the country, programs that have successfully kept students and families safe are falling short on funding.
Invest in America senior adviser Zac Petkanas issued this statement:
“These testing programs have kept students and their families safe and they need to be properly funded. In-school testing has allowed students to stay in school and avoid another year of learning loss and widespread outbreaks.
“Congress has an obligation to invest in our schools and invest in programs that keep our kids safe. COVID funding must be a priority as Congress considers new investments and maintaining our public health.”
The federal funding that made widespread testing possible for Jefferson County Public Schools during the COVID pandemic is all used up. Without more, next school year could look far different than last.
JCPS District Health Manager Eva Stone said the massive testing effort was “critically important” to the district’s pandemic response. It allowed her to keep an eye on the spread of COVID in schools, contact trace, and call off school when cases were too high. Eventually “test-to-stay” and “test-to-play” programs allowed students to attend school and extracurriculars who would otherwise be quarantined at home.
Congressional leaders, however, may have to go back to the drawing board, and it’s not clear there is an appetite to send more funding to states that are already “awash in money,” one former aid to Mitch McConnell told The New York Times.
“Saying that we’re ‘awash’ in federal funds right now, it is really a bit of a stretch, if you think of what all students have missed and what work is being done to try and catch students up,” Stone said.
About Invest in America
Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.
The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.