Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. introduced the Masks for Students Act today. The bill would force the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to continue to reimburse local K-12 schools nationwide for the masks purchased to protect in-school students during the coronavirus global pandemic. FEMA officials said recently that the administration would stop reimbursing schools because it defined masks as an operating expense now and not critical emergency equipment during the coronavirus global pandemic. Rep. Payne, Jr. introduced the bill with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).
“Schools are under tremendous pressure to continue in-class learning with less financial resources,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “They need all the help we can give them. Since the country benefits when students are back in the classroom, I wanted to introduce a bill that would continue to give local schools and school districts federal support for the masks they use to keep teachers and students safe. We are still in a national medical emergency and schools should not be punished for keeping students and workers safe.”