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Districts’ Back-to-School Shopping List: Masks, Gloves, Sanitizers and $25 Billion to Pay for It

For the last several weeks, medical supply vendors have swamped Martin Pollio with flyers, emails, and phone calls. He’s one of their most sought-after customers.

Pollio, the superintendent of the 100,000-student Jefferson County district in Louisville, Ky., has made tentative plans to reopen school buildings this fall. To do so, he estimates his district will need to spend close to $10 million on face masks alone, in order to abide by recently issued state health guidelines.

“We understand that the safety and health of our students and staff is the most important thing for us, without a doubt,” said Pollio, who plans to start a formal procurement process for personal protective equipment, or PPE, next month.  “But the logistics of this are not easy.”

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