Release of COVID-19 School Health Support Grant

Date:  November 4, 2021
Subject: Release of COVID-19 School Health Support Grant
Category: Federal Grant Funding Availability
Next Steps:  Review grant program guidance and apply for funding


Background Information

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) received an $800 million grant from the federal government to support school-based COVID-19 screening testing activities intended to support open, in-person K-12 instruction. DSHS has partnered with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide these resources to Texas K-12 school systems to support items or activities aimed at implementation of prevention and mitigation strategies necessary to curtail the spread of the virus.

New Grant Program

The primary purpose of this grant is to support safe, in-person instruction in schools, from kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12), by establishing a screening testing program and by offering a grant opportunity to school systems for allowable support activities. The program provides services to students, teachers, and other school staff that include COVID-19 testing primarily for screening and testing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Approximately $221 million of the DSHS federal funding will be allocated for eligible public and private school systems available for them to apply for and use for several allowable expenses, including additional services and/or products in testing, ventilation, and vaccination access.

Allowable activities under this grant program are limited to:

  1. PPE (including, but not limited to, masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields);
  2. Hygiene and cleaning supplies;
  3. Portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems or other small items that may allow for improved air circulation;
  4. Public health events that include students and other community members and are aimed at providing opportunities for increased detection and prevention of COVID-19;
  5. Vaccine promotion events and communications;
  6. COVID-19 testing-test kits, turn-key testing services, and related support services;
  7. Costs to obtain a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver;
  8. Partial funding for staff who will be conducting grant-related duties for screening testing or COVID prevention programs that are outside of the staff’s regular duties; and
  9. Other allowable uses pre-approved by TEA grant program office

The grant funds must: 1) be used to meet the intent of this program as stated above; 2) be used for costs that are reasonable and necessary; and 3) meet an allowable activity. Grantees should not anticipate that ongoing, replacement funds will be provided at either the federal or state level.

The grant funds will be paid as a cash advance payment from TEA in early January 2022. A grantee will be required to submit documentation of allowable uses of the funds by the grant ending date. Failure to provide the required documentation will cause special conditions to be placed on the grant award and may incur the potential repayment of funds.


The following dates provide public and private K-12 school systems with the preliminary timeline for this new grant program.

Tentative Date Action
November 4, 2021

Announcement and release of COVID-19 School Operations and Support Grant Program and application.

Application program guidelines, planning amount allocations, and the application are available at the COVID-19 Support Page.

December 9, 2021 Grant applications due.
January 14, 2022

First cash advance grant payments initiated; unrequested grant allocations will be reallocated.

March 31, 2022 Grant end date
May 31, 2022 Grantee closeout; final grantee expenditure documentation due to TEA
June 31, 2022 TEA grant closeout


Refer to the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project webpage for additional information and resources, which include:

For Further Information

Please email with any questions or for additional grant program guidance.

Required Federal Funding Notice

This K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project is supported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $800 million with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS.

The contents of this communication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the Center for Disease Control Website.