School districts won’t put cleaning supplies on back-to-school shopping lists

Federal funds help equip Idaho schools with supplies needed to open safely.
The Twin Falls Education Association is advocating for safe in-person instruction for schools...
The Twin Falls Education Association is advocating for safe in-person instruction for schools in the fall.(KMVT/KSVT Jake Manuel Brasil)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:16 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Parents will have one less thing to worry about when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

The Twin Falls School District hasn’t required students to bring cleaning supplies for four years, and this year won’t be any different, says TFSD Associate Superintendent Bill Brulotte.

“We have secured enough funding through the CARES Act and also through our plant facilities levy, that we have secured enough hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, tissues, disinfectant wipes, all those things are taken care of,” Brulotte said. “But if parents still want to help us out, we would be more than happy to taking some of those.”

The same goes for the Cassia County Joint School District, explains Debbie Critchfield, the spokeswoman for the district.

“We’re not asking, we’re not putting that burden on families, certainly, if they want to send those things with their child to use at their desk, we welcome that,” Critchfield explained. “And if they have extras that they want to share with the school, that’s fantastic, but we’re not putting the burden of sanitizing the desks and making sure the schools are clean on the families.”

In fact, last week Gov. Brad Little’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory committee OK’d an additional $10 million to equip schools with supplies such as masks, gloves and sanitizer.

With that additional $10 million, more than $122 million has been committed to Idaho K-12 public education for the 2020-2021 school year.

But it could still leave some school districts taking money out of their general fund.

Critchfield says the Cassia School District has already spent about $50,000 in the past couple months on cleaning supplies, masks and shields.

“We anticipate that our budget will be greater this year,” she said. “We can do some projections, but we’re not entirely sure. We have access to stimulus funds for some of it, and we know that state, through other stimulus funds, are trying to support districts. But clearly this is going to take more money out of our general fund.”

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