How Fairfax County schools are funding coronavirus changes

Fairfax County Public Schools are planning to see students back in their buildings this fall, and that means a host of changes to protects against the coronavirus.

But the changes will cost money, and the question now is where to find that money.

County money is being used to fund budget items that will be a recurring cost, like paying for more nurses. Federal stimulus money from the CARES Act is being used to address one-time coronavirus costs.

Leigh Burden, assistant superintendent for the Department of Financial Services for the school system, said $5.2 million for personal protective equipment is coming from the CARES Act grant. This includes one cloth face mask for every employee and student who asks.

She said cleaning is being paid for out of the post-COVID placeholder funding at $2.3 million. Hand-held thermometers are also coming out of that budget at $200,000, which covers one thermometer for every 500 students, and one for every central office.

For now, all needs are funded in the current approved FCPS fall budget, but there are still many uncertainties ahead, Burden said.

She added that after previous reductions to the coming fiscal year’s budget, there is little flexibility available to address any unanticipated needs that may arise.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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