H1N1 flu school closings could cost billions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

H1N1 flu school closings could cost billions

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WASHINGTON (KWWL) - A think tank report finds that H1N1 flu-related school closings could cost a bundle.

The government is urging schools to close only as a last resort, such as when large numbers of kids or staffers come down with H1N1 flu.

A report by the Brookings Institution Center on Social and Economic Dynamics estimates the cost of closing all schools in the U.S. for four weeks would be between $10 billion to $47 billion. Brookings calls that a conservative estimate.

The report also notes that keeping kids home from school would require parents to stay home from work too, and some of those parents are health care workers.

The Education Department says that in the month since classes began this year, there have been at least 187 school dismissals across the country affecting at least 79,678 students.

Online News Director Nate Leding

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