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Idaho directs millions toward reopening schools

| August 6, 2020 12:36 PM

Boise, Idaho – Gov. Brad Little announced that Idaho is directing $86 million to get students back into schools for in-person instruction.

Resources the State of Idaho is directing to the safe reopening of schools include:

• $10 million for additional masks, gloves, sanitizer, and plexiglass for Idaho schools

• $48 million will help bridge the “digital divide” and equip schools with the computers, connectivity, and other resources to ensure successful remote learning

• $21 million toward COVID-19 testing for teachers and school staff

• $3 million to increase testing lab turnaround time and capacity – as well as lab upgrades – to help get test results for teachers and school staff as quickly as possible

• $3 million to leverage Idaho pharmacies in testing efforts to help quickly produce testing results for teachers, school staff, and families in rural Idaho, where the majority of Idaho school districts are located.

“The unprecedented amount of money we’re directing to the safe reopening of schools is helping to make schools safe places to teach and learn, and it should provide parents and teachers the confidence to return our students to the classroom for in-person instruction,” Little said. “When students are out of the classroom for too long, the achievement gap widens, threatening the progress of all students and our economic prosperity.”

North Idaho school districts are in the “Mild to Moderate Community Transmission” category, according to the Panhandle Health District on Wednesday.

PHD has started its weekly assessment and reporting of categories of community spread for use by school districts in Kootenai, Bonner, Benewah, Boundary, and Shoshone counties in decision-making processes and operations for COVID-19.

Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone are all in category 2.

Category 1 is “No Community Transmission” and Category 3 is “Substantial Community Transmission.”