Last year, many districts chose to use the relief allotted to them by the CARES Act for immediate measures aimed at getting technology into the hands of students and equipping their schools for the near-term future of remote and hybrid learning.
However, a problem quickly presented itself – these measures were likely not enough to stem the tide of growing educational gaps. How, then, will the next round of stimulus benefits for schools, known as CARES Act 2 and featuring $82 billion for education, help close those divides and get students and educators back on track in 2021 and beyond?
The Next Stimulus and Schools: What You Need to Know
While the new stimulus package will operate similarly to the CARES Act in that money will first be given to state education agencies by the U.S. Department of Education for distribution to local education agencies, the term is significantly different.
Once an application for benefits, which must include a plan for how funds will be used, is approved, the USDE will distribute the funds in mere days – but schools will have until September of 2022 to use them.
That means, unlike the original CARES Act that required schools to spend allotted dollars by this September, districts will have nearly two complete years to leverage the stimulus they receive. Schools will also receive more money, with K-12 schools receiving more than $54 billion, or roughly four times more than what was distributed by the CARES Act passed in March of 2020.
More than anything else, that opens doors to significant progress toward lasting innovation.
The “CARES Act 2” empowers schools to use their funding to purchase technology that aids in interaction between teachers and students, for the planning and coordinating of closures and the online learning technology that drives them, professional training in edtech use, and more.
The opportunity is clear. With more money on the table and more time to spend it under the new “CARES Act 2,” schools have a chance to invest in technology that supports accelerated learning and the closing of educational gaps left behind in the wake of the pandemic.
ScreenBeam Is Ready to Help Schools Make the Most of ‘CARES Act 2’
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,” said David Lopez, ScreenBeam Senior Manager of Strategic Alliances. “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.