Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Improving School Ventilation and Air Filtration Can Boost Health, Academic, and Environmental Outcomes
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new report looking at how improved indoor air quality in America’s schools can improve health, academic, and environmental outcomes. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the value of in-person learning, but poor indoor air quality in America’s schools threatens to push students who contract COVID-19; the flu; or other respiratory infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus, out of the classroom.

The report looks at what current policies and resources exist and can be leveraged to help districts upgrade schools’ ventilation and air filtration systems as well as what more policymakers should do to scale these strategies for all, including:

  • Deliver long-term, dedicated federal funding to improve school facilities.
  • Include schools as an ongoing and critical component of federal infrastructure investments.
  • Prioritize funding to support filtration and ventilation system updates in socially vulnerable communities.
  • Invest in research on ventilation levels and strategies that reduce disease transmission.
  • Ensure heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrade funding is dedicated to support schools in transitioning to carbon-free, environmentally friendly systems.
  • Direct the U.S. Department of Education to report on school conditions, including indoor air quality, ventilation, filtration, and what resources are needed to guarantee sufficient conditions.

Please click here to read “School Air Filtration and Ventilation Strategies To Improve Health, Education, Equity, and Environmental Outcomes” by Jill Rosenthal, Elise Gout, Jamil Modaffari, and Tara Snover.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org.

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