WASHINGTON – Following calls from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Homeland Security Committee that oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Biden administration announced that schools in New Hampshire and across the country will receive a full reimbursement for emergency COVID-19-related expenses dating back to January 2020, including for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
The American Rescue Plan, which is now law, included $50 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund administered by FEMA to reimburse states and localities for COVID-19 related emergency expenses such as personal protective equipment. This funding is on top of the $45 billion that was allocated to the Fund through the CARES Act that Senator Hassan voted for and Congress passed last year.
Under the previous administration, FEMA denied reimbursement that schools in New Hampshire and across the country were counting on. In January, the Biden administration heeded Senator Hassan and colleagues’ calls to reimburse schools for these emergency supplies, but the reimbursement did not cover expenses that were incurred at the beginning of the pandemic. In response, Senator Hassan led a group of her colleagues in calling on the Biden administration to retroactively reimburse schools in New Hampshire for these sorts of emergency expenses.
This new announcement from the Biden administration will ensure that FEMA retroactively covers COVID-related costs incurred by schools for PPE and other emergency supplies dating back to January 2020.
“When the COVID-19 virus began to spread across our state, schools in New Hampshire had to adapt quickly to ensure the health and safety of its staff and students – which included dipping into their budgets to buy personal protective equipment and additional cleaning supplies,” Senator Hassan said. “I am pleased that the Biden administration heeded our calls to ensure that schools could be reimbursed for these costs dating all the way back to the beginning of this pandemic. I will continue to work with the Biden administration to make sure that our students and teachers have the resources that they need to safely conduct in-person learning and contain the spread of this deadly virus.”