Elementary and Secondary Emergency School Relief (ESSER) Funds Allow for Improved Indoor Air Quality in U.S. Schools
DALLAS (August 18, 2022) – ActivePure, the world’s leader in air and surface purification technologies, is now available for educational institutions through special funding from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). In 2020, the DOE introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, a signature part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to help schools improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and return their students back to the classroom. These funds offer students, teachers, staff and parents greater peace of mind with cleaner air and improved safety throughout educational facilities, buildings and classrooms.
In the wake of a global pandemic, indoor air quality (IAQ) has increasingly become a priority in many sectors of the economy, including office buildings, healthcare facilities and especially educational institutions where millions of students and teachers spend hours every day learning in confined physical spaces. The risk of airborne pathogens and community spread has created an operational imperative for organizations to ensure better ventilation, cleaner air and a safer learning environment.
Through these timely ESSER funds, school systems can now bring their students back into classrooms after years of virtual learning, providing the financial ability to evaluate 21st century solutions for indoor air quality and invest in more robust air purification and ventilation systems. The $122 billion of ARP ESSER funds were made available earlier this year to all 52 state education agencies, giving state leaders the discretion to disperse the funds among local public and charter schools to bring buildings up to date.
“I am proud that, with the approval of these plans, states have 100% of their funds and robust plans to help schools remain open and help students thrive,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a January 18 press release. “We are urging states and school districts to deploy funds now to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Omicron variant, on our school communities.”
The transition to online learning for students across the United States created challenges for students, teachers and parents alike. Recent reports have indicated lower test scores, as well as lower literacy and math skills compared to previous years, for students who participated in virtual learning options throughout the pandemic. The implementation of air purification technologies plays an important role in not only ensuring a healthier, in-person learning environment but also minimizing the possibility of widespread outbreaks in the future.
“At the end of the day, healthy indoor air quality is an essential right and one we all care about,” said Joe Urso, CEO and chairman of ActivePure. “The pandemic and remote learning have caused our kids to fall behind in school. It’s our duty to provide them with safe indoor air so they can get back into the classroom and realize their full potential. By doing what is necessary to protect students, teachers and staff, we protect our future.”
While most schools in the United States are opening for full-time in-person instruction, poor IAQ in buildings continues to affect the learning environment. A recent Harvard Public Health study found that poor air quality negatively affects cognitive function, leading participants in poorly-ventilated areas to score lower than their counterparts in environments with the latest air purification technologies.
Educational facilities across the United States have already begun taking proactive steps toward healthier learning environments by installing ActivePure Technology. Florida’s Sarasota School District, for example, has installed units powered by ActivePure Technology across its campuses to help facilitate the transition back to in-person learning. The addition of these units has allowed students and teachers to remain in the classroom without the need for constant shifts between in-person and virtual learning.
Indoor air quality is affected by numerous factors in addition to airborne viruses, including poor ventilation, pollutants, bacteria, cleaning products, building materials and mold. Older buildings tend to be at higher risk for fostering environments with worse air quality because of poor upkeep, pests and mildew. And, while increased ventilation will help, the increased energy needed to power HVAC units, has a significant environmental impact. ActivePure reconciles this conflict by neutralizing air and surface contamination through technology which is innately energy sparing.
ActivePure Technology is an advanced air and surface purification technology with a worldwide presence in educational institutions, hospitals, professional sports teams, the US military, office buildings and entertainment venues. The patented technology uses the unique process of Advanced Photocatalysis, creating oxidizing molecules that actively seek and eliminate air and surface pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold and more. Studies have shown ActivePure to be over 99.9% effective in reducing the presence of SARS-Cov-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, within a 60-second testing period.
Those interested in learning more about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) can read more here.
To learn more about ActivePure and its efforts to create healthier learning environments, please visit ActivePure.com.
Privately held ActivePure has been the global sustainable leader in active, 24/7 surface and air purification systems for healthcare and educational institutions, commercial and public facilities, hospitality and residential applications since 1924. Patented ActivePure Technology has been proven in independent university and laboratory testing to control and neutralize indoor contaminants effectively. It is the only product in its class recognized by the Space Foundation as Certified Space Technology and inducted into the Space Foundation Hall of Fame. In addition, the ActivePure Medical Guardian is registered and cleared as an FDA Class II Medical Device. The early stage of ActivePure was developed for use in space exploration and has since evolved for use in commercial and consumer products used to reduce exposure to pathogens, including RNA and DNA viruses, bacteria and molds, by up to 99.9% in the air and on surfaces. For more information, please visit ActivePure.com or call 888-217-4316.