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Schools Face Billions in Bills to Shield U.S. Kids from Pandemic

  • Virus costs may exceed $200 million for Dallas schools alone
  • Per student, the damages could end up reaching almost $500
Workers install a plexiglass barrier for the sink in the student restroom at Bukhair Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, on July 15.
Workers install a plexiglass barrier for the sink in the student restroom at Bukhair Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, on July 15.Photographer: LM Otero/AP Photo

U.S. public schools are stockpiling masks, hand sanitizer and plexiglass shields, racking up bills that could top $100 billion to protect children who study in actual classrooms this fall or help them learn from home.

The Dallas Independent School District, which is scheduled to open Sept. 8, has already spent $20 million on those items and protective equipment, and estimates a $50 million cost to install home internet for all students so they can log in from home.