School committees across Massachusetts are asking the state to cover all associated with protecting students and staff from the coronavirus when classes restart.
More than 100 school committees have passed identical resolutions seeking full state reimbursement for all COVID-19-related costs, including masks and other protective equipment and additional teachers, bus drivers, and other staffers who might be necessary so students can practice social distancing, The Boston Globe reported.
“It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that each school district is able to pay for the enormous additional staffing, transportation, and material expenses required to do this,” according to the resolution.
“If the state is going to come out with a mandate to open school safely, they need to make sure we have the money to do it.” said Peter Demling, a member of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, who oversaw the drafting of the resolution.
Gov. Charlie Baker said last week he would allocate approximately $200 million from the state’s federal Coronavirus Relief Fund for costs related to reopening public schools, but it’s unclear if that’s enough.