Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced in July that he has directed the investment of $250 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funding to improve indoor air quality in schools. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in June 2020 which found that across the United States, about half of school districts need to replace multiple building systems including an estimated 41 percent of school districts that need to replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in at least half of their schools. Virginia’s investment in schools will help to improve indoor air quality and provide students, teachers and other users of school facilities with healthier, safer and potentially more energy efficient facilities for learning and working.
The state provided funds will require a 1:1 match from local governments. Local educational agencies also received direct funding through the ARP. Nationwide, schools received $122 billion through the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief program of the ARP. Investments to improve indoor air quality are one of the allowable uses for these funds (please see NASEO’s ARP Frequently Asked Questions document for more).