We hear about it in the news every week:
Teachers aren’t paid enough. Schools are making cuts. Students take too many tests. Education funding is decreasing.
At GermBlast, many of the men and women on our infection control team are former teachers, athletic coaches, and superintendents. Not only do we understand the challenges educators face today, but also we see our children’s education as an absolute priority.
But what does stopping the spread of infection have to do with educational funding and learning outcomes?
More Absences = Less Funding
Education funding is essential to a positive learning environment. It’s not just about the dollar signs. Rather, adequate funding for schools means our children have access to better resources, more learning tools, and a lower student-to-teacher ratio. And all of that translates into more attention, more positive learning experiences, and more achievements.
Simply put, more funding means better learning opportunities for our students.
You have more control over the amount of funding your child’s school receives from the state than you may think. The fact is that funding allotments are influenced by a number of factors. There are several metrics that are taken into account when calculating how much a school district will receive each year.
According to My Texas Public School, a website run by the Texas Association of School Boards, “School districts in Texas receive state funding based in part on Average Daily Attendance (ADA) numbers.” In other words, the number of days of school your child attends each year has a big impact on how many dollars your school will receive.
In fact, “if a student misses nine days during the 180-day school year, the district loses 5 percent of the funding a student with perfect attendance would generate.”
In addition to increasing the amount of funding your child’s school receives, your child’s attendance also means he or she has the opportunity to get a better education. Plus, your child will get to experience all of the wonderful benefits that come with a strong academic foundation, like better opportunities for college and careers later in life.
How Parents Can Help
In order for our children to get the very best education possible, we need to do all we can to keep our children healthy and ensure schools get as much funding as possible.
While it’s understandable that your child may miss school occasionally for family trips and important appointments, we as a community can prevent many illness-based absences. By keeping our children as healthy as possible, we can keep them in school, on the road to better learning outcomes, and help schools get the funding they need to nurture our children to the fullest.
Making Infection Control a Healthy Habit
As a dedicated parent, you are the best source of information about preventing infection for your children. Talk to your kids about healthy habits. By creating a family culture that takes infection control seriously, you can help your children keep the fight against infection outside of their bodies without them even realizing it!
First, make handwashing a part of your child’s home-from-school routine. As soon as your little one drops his backpack and kicks off his shoes, encourage him to head to the sink to wash his hands with you.
Make handwashing a pre-dinner habit, as well. Wash your hands together before enlisting your child’s help to set the table.
Keep tissues around the house and in your child’s backpack. Teach them how to prevent the spread of germs to others when he or she has to sneeze. Reminding your child to sneeze into a tissue, then “drop it like it’s hot!” into a trash can before washing his or her hands can go a long way toward building infection-fighting habits.
Lastly, remember that kids learn by example. The more you can demonstrate healthy habits, the more your kids will incorporate those lessons into their daily routines. Let your child help you wipe down the grocery cart handle with a sanitizing wipe at the store, or show your child how to open a public bathroom door with a paper towel before throwing it away.
Every little moment is a learning opportunity that can help keep your child healthy and in school.
Partners in Health
Lastly, while all of these behaviors can help prevent the spread of infections, they may not be strong enough to stop an outbreak when it happens. In that case, you may need expert help.
At your next PTA meeting, talk to your child’s teachers, principal, or superintendent about partnering with GermBlast to disinfect your child’s campus, buses, and athletic equipment and keep illness-related absences low and funding at its maximum.
Infection control has a powerful impact on your school’s ability to receive valuable funding. Working together, we can create a community of healthy learners united in the fight against infection.
What techniques have you used to teach your children and students healthy habits? Share them with us in the comments below.