Safer Air Saves Lives and Improves Learning in Mask-Optional Classrooms




As a preventative measure to cope with the pandemic and promote utility savings, the state allocated $650 million in AB 841 grants to improve air quality and plumbing in California classrooms and facilities. As of the January 31 deadline, applications were received for only $168 million in grant awards. That means $482 million is still on the table for Phase 2 and Phase 3. All you have to do is apply.


School districts who made the first deadline will be getting their confirmation letters, grant agreements, and checks within a matter of weeks.


For many administrators, whose time is already stretched to the limit, this was a missed opportunity. Especially in smaller districts that do not have the bandwidth to do the needs analysis and prepare the application.

The state soon will be announcing the Phase 2 application deadline. This second deadline, probably by the end of March, is fast approaching for districts to still file applications. Will you be ready to get in line for these resources to upgrade your ventilation and plumbing systems?


The state placed a priority in AB 841 on funding underserved student populations. There is pressure to lift that restriction for the remaining phases. Only 21% of the schools in underserved areas were part of the existing applications. That may create even more competition for these funds.


During Phase 1, dozens of school districts and county offices of education partnered with a firm called LifeWings Peak Performance to handle this assessment/application process. As a safe air partner, they get the assessment, testing, and immediate repair work done at a school district at no cost and with no direct pressure on the General Fund budget. The grant funding pays for their work.


Relying on their extensive experience in creating clean air environments for health care facilities, they bring in a team of physicians, nurses, engineers, communicators, and healthcare experts to do the work needed to receive the maximum grant award that resolves clean air issues unique to a school.


“LifeWings PP made the AB 841 process painless,” said Tina Van Raaphorst, CBO of Jefferson Union High School District. “In less than an hour, we diagnosed what we needed and completed the application. We’re expecting nearly $400,000 dollars in money we almost overlooked.”

Using AB 841 funding to improve air quality is a “good news” story for districts across the state. Communications expert Tom DeLapp is assisting LifeWings PP in creating template parent and community letters, news releases, opinion articles, and talking points for leaders with the message that a district is creating clean air learning environments that promote the health of students and staff, increase student attendance, reduce employee absences, reduce energy usage, and improve student learning.


To find out more about applying for AB 841 funding contact Richard Doss, Senior Vice President, at rdoss@lifewingspp.com or call him at (952) 201-9560.


 

About CSBA

The California School Boards Association is a nonprofit association representing nearly every PreK-12 school district and county office of education in the state of California. CSBA unites school governing boards and administrators from more than 1,000 local education agencies to strengthen public schools and improve outcomes for the state’s 6 million school-age children. CSBA provides policy resources, training and professional development and business services, while also representing the interests of public schools through political, legislative, legal, community and media advocacy.


About LifeWingsPP

LifeWingsPP specializes in studying school campuses and providing knowledgeable assessments to aid school boards in reaching the highest level of protection for their students and staff. It defeats the invisible enemy and creates free breathing zones in buildings, reducing anxiety and allowing teachers to teach without fear.

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