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How to Use CARES & ARPA Funding to Future Proof K12 Education

Posted on 3/22/2021 12:00:00 AM by Legrand AV Team

Following a year of immense challenge and change in education, and two rounds of federal CARES Act and CRRSA funding to help provide relief and support for a path forward, another round of funds has been provided with the signing of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).The relief packages have been awarded to provide further assistance for many local education agencies (LEAs) like school districts, charter schools and academies.The funding has been authorized by the Department of Education towards an Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) to support the education ecosystem in responding to the challenges of the coronavirus. Within the different phases of this relief funding, there has been CARES Act 2020 ($30B), CRRSA 2021 ($81.88B) and the most recent funding ARPA, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 at a total of $170B to support additional stimulus recovery needs to the community. The separate funds are split into five allocations with three of these comprising of 99% of the funding:

• Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER(F) – CARES provided $13.5B, the CRRSA provided $54.9 Billion in K-12 formula grants to states based on share of ESEA Title 1 funds. Congress stipulated that 90% of the K-12 funding be allocated to Title 1 schools to support COVID-19 transition to distance learning. The ARPA will provide $128.6B and will be distributed through September 2023 while CARES and CRRSA have 1 year award limits but these initial time limits were expanded.

• Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) – CARES provided $14.25B for universities, the CRRSA provided an additional $22.9B and the ARPA will provide another $39.6B.

• Governors’ Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) - CARES provided $3B, the CRRSA will provide $4B, split between all states. Each Governor can use to provide grants to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, childcare and early education providers. These funds can be used on education technology and instructional materials. The new ARPA act excludes GEER but includes direct funds for BIE, funding for non-public schools, outlying areas and special universities for $3.7B.

Note: These dollar amounts are estimated based on the ‘American Rescue Plan Act, 2021’ or H.R. 1319.





Many of these education agencies have received federal funding but have yet to use it. The ARPA funding will be distributed with a timeline running through September 2023.. This will ensure new guidelines and protocols are being met within schools as well as for upgrading AV solutions to help with social distancing in the classroom and optimizing distance learning. There is also a focus on overcoming learning gaps which will likely involve classrooms being used for after school and summer programs.

Legrand | AV understands the challenges that K-12 staff and teachers are experiencing with distance and hybrid learning and have solutions that improve the experience today and for the future. With the new funding becoming available as part of ARPA, there are an abundance of opportunities for the K-12 market. 

As we move into summer, these are the top four challenges we’re hearing that integrators can be poised to solve for with AV solutions funded by ARPA. Each of these solutions are authorized under the CARES & ARPA funding, but this is just a small list of ways that we can help you upgrade your K-12 experience:

1. Classroom Social Distancing Limitations

Challenge: Average classroom displays are 65” or smaller, requiring students to sit close to one another in order to view the content.

Solution: Go bigger! Upgrade and install a >110” projection screen so the students can sit 6 feet apart and still be able to see the content.
Model C w CSR
Contour Electrol


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2. Distance Learning Technology – Video & Audio

Challenge: Teachers are using their laptops for sharing content and using the webcam for video. While super cost effective, this seriously restricts the amount of movement and engagement with the students. The laptop needs to be physically moved in the room to show display content and keep instructors on video at the same time as well as continue to be within range of the laptop microphone.

Solution: Give the gift of movement! Upgrade with a professional camera system that provides preset capabilities to switch seamlessly between content and other locations within the room. Add professional microphones so remote students can hear clean, precise audio and vice versa.
ConferenceSHOT AV Bundles
RoboSHOT HDBT with OneLINK Bridge
EasyIP with EasyIP Mixer or EasyIP Decoder


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3. Keeping Student Engagement

Challenge: Sharing content with only a laptop becomes a one-to-many conversation. While suitable for many presentations, students are limited in their ability to learn from one another.

Solution: Invest in tools that weave together remote and on-site teams for shared learning like an interactive dry erase screen and interactive projector. This technology allows teachers and students to share content and interact to transform the presentation from static to engaging.
IDEA Screen
Integrated Interactive System (AN3)


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4. Multiple Devices

Challenge: Hybrid for teachers and students means a lot of back and forth with a multitude of devices. Reconnecting a laptop in the classroom and at home and connecting to extended monitors is a challenge.

Solution: Make it plug and play! Docking stations allow multiple devices to connect to one another with a single cable. They also allow different content on multiple monitors.
Docking Station Kits with Cables


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If you need help with your projects or need more information on what other solutions, we can create for you, contact us.

Learn more about each of these funding opportunities:

*ARPA - American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
*CARES Act - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
*HEROES Act – Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act
*ESSER(F) - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
*GEERF – Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund
*HEERF - Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds
*Searching school district websites can also be informative.

At Legrand | AV, we are dedicated to keeping people connected no matter where they are. If you have any videoconferencing or live streaming questions, our solutions engineers are ready to help. Email us at with the details of your project.