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Need to implement CRI SOA program, Schools Superintendent
Mar '10
In an effort to improve the cleanliness of local school districts and stretch public funds, Georgia Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox has recommended implementing the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval testing program for carpet cleaning products.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the trade association that represents carpet manufacturers, launched the independent Seal of Approval (SOA) testing and certification program in 2004 as a way to identify the most effective carpet cleaning products.

The SOA program certifies effective and environmentally responsible carpet cleaning solutions, vacuums, extractors, and cleaning systems. Consumer and commercial products are independently tested and lists of qualifying products are posted on the CRI Web site. In addition, carpet cleaning professionals certified as Seal of Approval Service Providers are listed on the Web site by zip code and geographic area.

In a letter to Georgia's 190 district superintendents, Ms. Cox noted that the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval testing and certification program could help districts maximize cleaning and maintenance budgets by guiding them to the most effective products. This, in turn, would save money by reducing labor costs and extending the useful life of carpet.

"In an era when school budgets are especially tight, it is my sense that using CRI Seal of Approval-certified products and equipment will save school districts money," Cox said. "CRI does not make, distribute or sell any of these products; it simply tests for performance to assure that the best products are being used to maintain carpet," she added.

Dalton Public Schools, located in the northwest corner of the state, has put in place the Seal of Approval program. At one time, carpets were maintained by school personnel. But as the school system grew, the district hired a local Seal of Approval-certified Service Provider and invested in SOA-approved vacuums. Onsite "spotting teams" respond to spills and stains immediately, using SOA-approved spot cleaning solutions. "Clean, safe schools enhance teaching and learning," says Belinda Parrish, the Dalton Public Schools maintenance chief. "A clean environment is as important to a student's success as a good breakfast."

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)

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