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CARES Act Impact on Education Funding and AV

Posted on 6/21/2020 7:00:00 PM by Legrand AV Team



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has gone a long way in improving the quality of life for many Americans during a global pandemic, providing stability in the wake of COVID-19. But the government assistance extends beyond helping people like you and me, it’s also being used to help the education sector navigate this difficult time.

Over $14 billion has been earmarked for education facilities during the ongoing global pandemic from the CARES Act. Like many government programs, there are rules for specific uses, and it can be difficult to understand what exactly any of it means. Which facilities have received funds? Do these funds have to be used in a certain way? What role does AV equipment have for facilities receiving funds from the CARES Act? Continue reading as we examine what the CARES Act means for the education sector.

Enrollment Formula Funds

Enrollment Formula Funds make up the majority percentage of the CARES Act equating to around $12.56 billion. Dedicated to higher education institutions and allocated based on the enrollment population of the school (ie. larger student population gets more money). Half of these funds were allocated to provide grants to struggling students. The other half can be used at the institution’s discretion, with many choosing to expand their remote learning programs, build their IT capacity to support such programs, and train faculty and staff to operate effectively in a remote learning environment. It’s important to note that funds in this case are NOT just allocated to state schools, private institutions and specialty schools also across the country also received sizeable support. A complete breakdown of the funds each institution is receiving can be found here.

Governor's Emergency Education Fund

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While Enrollment Formula Funds serve higher-education facilities based on student enrollment, the Governor’s Emergency Education Fund (GEEF) provides funds directly to governors to serve education facilities within their state at their discretion.

The GEEF is one of the primary ways K-12 education facilities can receive funds from the CARES Act. Governors can disperse these funds to a wide variety of educational institutions, including public and private schools. Like Enrollment Formula Funds, this resource can be used to expand distance learning capabilities for educational facilities. In fact, in many ways there is a larger gap to fill in getting K-12 facilities equipped for remote learning. While colleges and universities have been introducing online learning components and programs for years, it’s a far less common concept for both teachers and students in the K-12 environment.

 In all, the GEEF provides $2.95 billion to state governors; a breakdown of funding by state can be found here.

Additional Minority Serving Institution Funding

In addition to Enrollment Formula Funds, $1.05 billion has been set aside for minority-serving institutions currently receiving Title III, V, or VII funding. This includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), as well as institutions serving low-income students. Unlike the Enrollment Formula Funds, institutions receiving these funds do not have to earmark half for grant use, granting these institutions flexibility in how they spend their funds.

Supplementary Emergency Funding

Finally, $349 million is dedicated to Supplementary Emergency Funding. This money is dispersed to educational facilities that still have significant unmet needs – even after receiving other CARES Act funding. This pool of funds is relatively smaller, but institutions can use these funds at their discretion to help keep institutions running, by doing things like allowing them to maintain payroll.

Remote learning is sure to play an important role when schools return in the Fall. Check out three key ways schools plan to implement distance learning here. The CARES Act is equipping educational institutions with the funding and we can fully expect they will be looking to AV integrators to help bring their campuses back to life. Keeping students connected with teachers and each other through technology is what we do every day.

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At Legrand | AV, we are dedicated to keeping people connected no matter where they are. If you have any video conferencing, live streaming or connectivity questions, our solutions engineers are ready to help. Email us at av.solutions@legrand.com with the details of your project. For more of the latest COVID-19 information, please access the FAQs at www.legrandav.com/COVID