$119 million CDC-funded grant program to provide Oklahoma schools money for COVID-19 testing


FILE – In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As the nation closes out a school year marred by the pandemic, some states are now starting to release new standardized test scores that offer an early glimpse at just how far students have fallen behind — with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of progress across every academic subject. New York, Georgia and some other states pushed to cancel testing for a second year so schools could focus on classroom learning. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma schools can apply for money from a $119 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded grant program, and use the funds to conduct COVID-19 testing.

The Oklahoma Schools COVID-19 Prevention Program Grant (Project 723) is funded by the CDC and offered to schools in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Oklahoma State Department of Education, according to Dr. Kathy Dodd, Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Federal Programs for the Department of Education.

Schools must design a plan to test 10 percent of their enrolled students each month to comply with grant parameters, according to an FAQ provided by Dodd.

“For example, if your high school has 500 students, 50 tests should be administered each month,” Dodd said.

Department of Education officials removed references to “random testing” from the grant guidance, “as you may choose to test students participating in activities that require close contact where masking is not feasible,” Dodd said.

In one example, schools may choose to test students participating in vocal music, football, band, wrestling and drama.

“In this case, students would have the option be tested as a result of their participation in the activity,” Dodd said.

The full FAQ, provided below, gives further details on school testing through the grant:

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