As we begin this new year, we need to look at the grant possibilities – those currently open but will quickly close in the coming months, and funding that will be made available throughout 2022. To do this, I’ve compiled a list of grant funding possibilities that includes the funding source and website, the purpose of the grant, areas covered by the grant, funding size, and other information.
Last month, we talked about the status of all the COVID-19 funding and how it has progressed. The situation for many of the states in their effort to obligate funding under all the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) and GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief) I, II, and III are ongoing. To see the progress of funding allotments and progress by state, district, and for Higher Education, click here: U.S. Department of Education – Education Stabilization Fund. On this site, you will notice a substantial difference among states on how much allocated funding from ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) each has. In many cases, you will see that the ARPA status in states is below 5% meaning that the application process has not started. In other states, the application phase has stopped but funding has yet to be sent out.
This past year has reinforced the nation’s belief that, even with limited resources, teachers are incredibly resilient and able to meet a broad array of challenges such as school closures, distance teaching, and more.
Districts and schools across the country are making decisions about how to best utilize federal funding. Regardless of the programs, software, and technology professional development and training plays a critical part in acclimating educators and students to what’s “new” for best integration for teaching and learning.
A few headlines from a recent internet search on K-12 relief funding in schools include “What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools,” “States Scramble to Disburse K-12 Relief Funds Ahead of Deadline,” and “States are Waffling Over Billions in K-12 Federal Relief. Schools Are Getting Antsy.” Clearly, educators want clear-cut information on funding including how much, ways to use it, and when to expect it.
Since late March 2020, the federal government has approved relief funding to help states address challenges to student learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and the American Rescue Plan will provide approximately $190 billion to the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief (ESSER) fund. Of course, with the availability of funds come many questions such as - How can these funds be used? When do they need to be used by? Where should we start?
Dr. Don Gemeinhardt joined the Boxlight family late last year as Director of Strategic Funding. He is a grant and proposal subject matter expert who has worked with various companies involved with education, compliance training, and student, faculty, and police officer development. His role at Boxlight is focused on helping schools and districts identify funding opportunities for education technology, STEM solutions, and professional development.
In late December of last year, Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 in response to the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has created. In the CAA, over $54 billion is available for K-12 schools to use, which is in addition to what was provided in the CARES Act ($13.2 billion). The purpose of these funds includes purchasing materials and education technology to address learning loss and improve school facilities and infrastructure to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Funding will be available through September 2022. There will be instructions from both the federal government and each state to explain the process the overall process of using the funding.
With the plethora of technology options out there (hardware, software, web applications, STEM tools, etc), it can all look exciting and you might even visualize how your students will benefit from the innovative tech available. But more often than not, the “dream” classroom rarely meshes with the “reality” budget. Fortunately, awards, crowdfunding, grants, and programs have made outfitting classrooms with state-of-the-art tech a reality for many educators.