More than five dozen public school districts and private schools are taking advantage of a $3 million loan from the Spokane County Treasurer’s office to buy personal protective equipment.
The funds will be issued Tuesday and pay for face masks, shields and other protective equipment as many schools prepare to re-open during the next two weeks.
The money is available via a Spokane Public Investment Fund local direct investment to the Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101, or NEWESD 101.
The service district provides programs and support services to public, private and charter schools across seven counties in Northeast Washington.
The loan will be repaid by NEWESD 101 within 90 days.
“NEWESD and the public-school districts and private schools we serve and support are extremely grateful to the Spokane County Treasurer’s Office for making this loan … protecting the safety of students, families and educational professionals,” Said Michael Dunn, Superintendent of NEWESD 101.
According to Dunn, bids for materials, which are being manufactured overseas, “came in very affordable.”
The materials are being prioritized by e opening dates.
Dunn said that the program will serve 66 public school districts and private schools, though Spokane Public Schools and Central Valley were not among them.
The Treasurer of Spokane County manages the investment of nearly $1.3 billion in local government cash reserves.
“We want to help our schools however we can to have the equipment and safe facilities necessary to offer in-person education this fall,” Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner said.
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