New Funding From Covid Relief Bill Helps K-12 Schools and Districts
The Covid Relief Bill II was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This new funding is more than four times the initial awards to State educational agencies under the CARES Act. It is intended to help States and school districts safely reopen schools, measure, and effectively address significant learning loss, and take other actions to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the students and families who depend on our K-12 schools.
AMOUNT FOR K-12 • The legislation allocates $54.3 billion in new funding for K-12 (State Allocations)
• $4 billion for governors to spend at their discretion, including $2.7 billion for private schools.
• Districts are grappling how to address learning loss and continue to educate students while mitigating spread of Covid
• Many districts are still struggling how to bring their students back to campus safely and responsibly.
• Similar to CARES: Local Education Agencies have flexibility on use of funds as long as it is tied to Covid related expenditures.
• Supporting provisions found in major education laws, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Title IV-A of ESSA and Part D of IDEA.
• Funds may be used for costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national emergency was declared.
DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
• The funding will flow to the local education agencies similar to how the CARES dollars were distributed.
• Each State Department of Education will release a sub grant application process to the LEAs in their State.
• Each State Department of Education will lay out their own priorities, application process, and time frames for schools to apply for these funds.
YOUR ACTION PLAN: BE AN ADVOCATE FOR TECHNOLOGY
There is wide latitude how these funds can be utilized as there are numerous priorities and for many districts – equally important use cases. This is the time that IT directors must be advocates for using these funds for foundation technology to ensure their mission critical networks can handle the new number of devices that will likely be coming back to campus over the coming weeks and months..
As the funds will be flowing through Title I, reach out to your Title I Director. These stimulus dollars are high profile how they are applied so advocate to the Superintendent for the technology needs of your districts
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