Adopted on March 27, 2020, the CARES Act aims to provide financial assistance to the people and institutions most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s what educators like you need to know about this piece of legislation – and how it will affect your school and students in the months ahead.
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act “provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses and preserves jobs for American industries,” according to the US Department of the Treasury.
First and foremost, it established a budget of more than $2 trillion for use by the country’s those most affected by the pandemic.
Additionally, the Department of the Treasury states that $150 billion of these funds were made available to cover costs needed to keep essential organizations and institutions up and running – particularly those that were not accounted for in the original budgets of state, local and tribal governments.
How Does It Affect the US Educational System?
One of the biggest priorities that educators have right now is providing a safe and successful learning environment for their students. Teachers and administrators are working hard to determine their future needs and building them into their year-end budgets.
However, schools are now discovering a major problem.
Although the CARES Act provides pandemic relief funds for schools and higher education institutions, they are required to use these funds by September, 2021. That isn’t much time – but it presents an ideal opportunity for district leaders to budget not for today’s needs, but for the future needs of their schools and educators in the wake of a major shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we’ve seen in the education technology industry is that a lot of district’s budgets have stretched when it comes to the buying cycle, when they’re able to buy things, and how they’re looking to use that money,” said David Lopez, ScreenBeam Senior Manager of Strategic Alliances. “The government provided some relief to a lot of districts, so when they’re wrapping up their budgets and looking at how to utilize their money, a lot of them are saying we’re not going to spend money for right now, but for what’s going to happen in the future.”
The sudden high demand for educational technology required by this new method of learning has caused massive supply chain issues. This only exacerbates the educational gaps that today’s students are experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
A McKinsey & Co. study released earlier this month found that the shift to remote learning set white students back in their math studies by one to three months, while students of color faced even larger ones – gaps of about three to five months.
As the pandemic continues, this educational gap will grow wider and wider. A lack of proper resources, financial and otherwise, to help teachers make up for this will only make things worse for this generation of students.
Maximize the Flexible Learning Experience with ScreenBeam
As a company that specializes in award-winning presentation solutions, ScreenBeam’s goal is to help fix the issues experienced by our nation’s schools by getting the right technology into the classroom.
Our wireless display technology provides an agile teaching environment for educators and their students, helping create a safe, contactless and flexible learning experience for students in the classroom set to encourage better adaptation to the future of face-to-face education.
“We’ve had school districts come to us to figure out how to put our products in place for when their teachers do come back, and, in some schools, they’re already back and making that experience better,” Lopez said. “At our core, (ScreenBeam) is meant to be a device that you plug into your screen or your projector, and you don’t ever have to touch it again.”
Learn more about the technology issues that schools are dealing with in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic by listening to this episode of ScreenBeam’s Collaborative Tech Talk podcast.