ON MARCH 11, 2021 Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), under the Education Stabilization Fund, allocating over $123 Billion for K-12 in new, flexible funds for school districts to be spent over the next three-and-a-half school years — the largest-ever one-time federal investment in K-12 education.

Funds are distributed based on the Title I enrollment numbers of public schools through state education departments, and to private schools through local educational authorities (LEAs). Check with your individual state education department or LEA to apply for funding and determine eligibility.

View K-12 ESSER III Allocations by state

How can ESSER III Funds be Used? 


This act provides LEAs with $123 billion of funding for educational expenses that meet the guidelines of the bill; states and districts can use these funds to make technology investments.

According to the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, more than half of public school districts surveyed needed to update or replace multiple building systems – and over 20% of technology infrastructure in public schools were in “fair” or “poor” condition.

Up to 80% of ESSER III funds can be used to address schools’ technology needs and challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity as well as assistive technology or adaptive equipment, and
  • implementing public health protocols including policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for school-reopening

 View the entire bill here 

How to create long term results for your school with ESSER III funds by investing in technology

Limited budgets have prevented schools from investing in technology in the past, but they now have the opportunity to access $123 billion in K-12 education funding through the ARP.

Wahsega’s Carina platform can address educational technology in the following ways:

Solve Masked Voices with Voice Assist

While students in the back of the classroom are straining to hear their teacher, teachers are straining their voices after hours of instruction. Installing Wahsega speakers with a Sound Reinforcement Panel, and plugging in an off-the-shelf microphone can amplify a teacher’s voice to reach the entire classroom and eliminate teacher voice strain. 

The most powerful tool a teacher has is their voice, and Wahsega’s technology can address student needs and support teachers with state-of-the-art technology that won’t break the bank.

 

Execute daily health and safety practices on campus.

While education leaders are creating comprehensive procedures for cleaning and sanitizing school environments, staff and teachers are left with the arduous task of executing these protocols every day. From a single location, Wahsega’s technology can automate reminders for safety protocols at scheduled times both audibly (Wahsega speakers) and visually (Wahsega IP Displays) throughout the school.

For example:

  •  10:00 am event to remind students to sanitize their desks.
  • “Wear a mask” reminder every hour.  

Education Resource Strategies, in their recent post-pandemic “Start Here” guide, recommended making, “Teachers feel well-supported,” and providing teachers with “state-of-the-art technology and tools.”

Implement Social Distancing Cohorts, A/B, and Split Scheduling.

The CDC recommends forming cohorts (distinct groups that stay together during the school day) to reduce the risk of COVID transmission. School administrators will determine areas for each cohort and define movement plans throughout the school day, including entryways, hallways, and classrooms.   Wahsega’s Carina Event Manager can automate social distancing cohorts with flexible zones and custom bell schedules. Each Wahsega speaker or IP Display can be included in up to 20 separate zones to sound school bells (and localized announcements) only where they need to be heard. A/B and split scheduling can easily be implemented with the Carina Event Manager as well.

Next steps.

Connect with a Solutions Advisor

Wahsega Solutions Advisors are ready to help you create a safer and more equitable learning environment with technology.

 School districts must apply to their state’s SEA—Department of Education or Office of Public Instruction—to receive their funding. The money will be distributed to districts when they have an approved application. Check with your state education agency for exact dates for application deadlines and funding distribution.

Important Dates: The deadline for claiming ARP funds is Sept. 30, 2021, with the ability to expand the funding for two calendar years afterward.

Contact your school district or state for funding specifics, or send your questions to: COVID-19@ed.gov.

 

*** The information is intended to help explain the ARP and is not intended as legal advice or guidance nor is it intended to guarantee coverage under the Act. Verify with your administration that expenditures will be made for eligible uses prior to making any purchases using CARES, CRRSA, or ARP funding