Smaller school districts worry state-provided PPE may not be enough

PPE delivery for schools
Posted at 7:01 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 21:55:22-04

Millions of dollars of personal protective equipment (PPE) has gone out to schools across Texas as they prepare to reopen for the fall in the next few weeks.

Large school districts of course received big shipments, but can smaller districts make due with what they got?

The Troy Independent School District just got its supply PPE. For now, it's stashed in a warehouse before going out to students, faculty and staff.

You'd think a fast-growing school district like Troy would receive a lot of protective gear from the State of Texas. However the school district only received two shipments.

"Provided by the Texas Education Agency, for the whole year?" asked 25 News reporter Dennis Turner.

"Well, to get the year started," replied Troy ISD Superintendent Neil Jeter.

Like he said, it's a start.

”What have we got? We've got hand sanitizer. That's the biggest part of the shipment, and we also have disposable and reuseable masks, and there's even eleven thermometers in here somewhere,” he said.

Now, he has to figure out how much will go to which schools, a decision, he says, that will need a lot of heads.

”We haven't broken the shrink wrap on it yet, but our plan is to work with our school nurses to distribute these among our school campuses, and that way everybody will have a supply to get started,” said Jeter.

Governor Greg Abbott toured a San Antonio warehouse Tuesday, getting a look at the equipment and helping make sure it goes where it's needed.

Back in Troy, school leaders hope to provide as germ-free a school as possible.

”Staff arrives on August 24, and students on September 8, and we'll be disinfecting daily," said Jeter.

More than 150 gallons of hand sanitizer, hundreds of reuseable and disposable masks and about a dozen thermometers didn't seem like quite enough to Troy school leaders.

”This will supplement things we've already purchased and and things we're waiting to come in," said Jeter.

The superintendent has various other odds and ends coming in, along with one item he proudly calls "The Coronavirus Killer."

”Our director of student services told me he's put in an order for a fogging machine, and that itself is over $1,500,” Jeter said.

A small price to pay, he says. for a germ-free campus which he says will come from the same practice of fogging a room with disinfectant much like many fire departments.

All so students can have a little fun while they learn.

”We've got 146 gallons of hand sanitizer ready to squirt on the hands of students eager to learn," said Jeter.