The newly signed $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes emergency funding to help K12 schools deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. For districts struggling to provide remote education to children under shelter-at-home orders, the bill includes new funding to help.

What CARES funding will my district receive that can be used for educational technology? 

Stabilization fund – $13.5 billion. This funding will be distributed to Districts based on their Title I allocation. These funds can be utilized for a broad variety of activities, but here is what’s allowed for education technology: 

  • Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures including how to provide technology for virtual instruction for all students
  • Activities to address the unique needs of at-risk students including low-income, English Learners, racial and ethnic minorities, etc. 
  • Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) that aids in regular and substantive education interactions between students and their classroom instructors
  • Purchasing assistive technology or adaptive equipment for students with disabilities

Emergency Education Relief grants to Governors – $3 billion. Governors will grant these funds to K12 districts and colleges deemed to have been most significantly impacted by coronavirus. This can fund educational services, either directly or through third-party entities, and support the on-going functionality of the district or college.

Rural Development Program – $25 million. This funding is under the Department of Agriculture and can be used for telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas.  

Will charter schools get funding?

If your State considers charter schools to be a separate Local Education Agency, charter schools will directly receive stabilization funding. If charter schools are part of a school district, funding will be funneled through the school district.  

Will private, nonpublic schools get funding?

No. However, Districts are required to provide equitable services to students and teachers in non-public schools, so reach out to your district liaison to make sure they are aware of your distance learning needs. The District will control the funds and title to materials/equipment/property purchased.

When will we receive funds?

To be determined. The bill describes States applying for the funds and agreeing to certain provisions. The funds must be spent by Sept 30, 2021 or be returned to the federal government.

Will there be more funding coming?

It’s likely there will be additional funding in future coronavirus federal legislation, as well as state legislation targeting local needs.

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My next blog will be about the new waivers in the CARES Act which include some funding flexibility making it easier to implement educational technology.  

For more information on K-12 remote instruction options from Pearson, visit here.

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Grace Stopani

Grace Stopani

Director, Funding

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.