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Biden sends $10 billion to schools for COVID testing as part of largest K-12 federal funding push

Erin Richards, Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY |

President Joe Biden’s administration announced Wednesday it’s sending $10 billion to help schools expand COVID-19 testing for students, teachers and staff as part of the latest push to return more schools to full-time, in-person instruction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will send $10 billion to states to help schools implement testing programs for students, teachers and staff. The funding boost will support testing as part of an overall COVID-19 mitigation program to allow schools to safely reopen.

The funding announced by the Biden administration will support screening programs to test students, teachers and staff who show no signs of the virus, a measure aimed at preventing spread among individuals who don’t know they’re infected. The screening program is in addition to regular testing of students, teachers and staff who show symptoms or are known contacts of infected individuals.

The announcement was paired with a state-by-state breakdown from the Education Department of how the $122 billion for K-12 schools will be divided. The money for schools comes as part of the latest $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package Congress passed last week.  

The new money represents the largest one-time federal increase in K-12 funding. It includes another $40 billion for higher education and $7.6 billion to help children who have special needs or who are homeless or being educated on tribal land, according to the Department of Education.

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