Federal Funding for US K-12 Schools and Districts

US K-12 schools and districts could get federal funding to obtain teaching platforms like VEDAMO. Below are details about Funding Programs that support implementation of software for online learning, distance education and professional development.

CARES Act ESSER Funding

The ESSER Fund infuses $13.2 billion into K-12 education There is much flexibility in how CARES Act funding can be spent, including to support technological capacity and access – including hardware and software, connectivity, and instructional expertise – to support remote learning.

This relief package provided states with both funding and streamlined waivers to give State educational agencies (SEAs) necessary flexibilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Director; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – Allowable uses for these funds include:
  • Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools
  • Planning for and coordinating on long-term closures (including on meeting IDEA requirements, how to provide online learning, and how to provide meals to students)
  • Purchasing educational technology (hardware, software, and connectivity) for students, that aids in the regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive or adaptive technology
  • Summer learning and supplemental after-school programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care

ESSER Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I. The state allocation tables for ESSER funds are available: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/04/ESSER-Fund-State-Allocations-Table.pdf

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund

Congress set aside approximately $3 billion of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF).

States and LEAs are encouraged to invest GEER funds in technology infrastructure and professional development that will improve capacity to provide high-quality, accessible, distance education, or remote learning.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – States and LEAs are encouraged to invest GEER funds in technology infrastructure and professional development that will improve capacity to provide high-quality, accessible, distance education, or remote learning, including:
  • Purchasing hardware and software applications for students and teachers
  • Providing access to high-quality digital learning content, apps, and tools that can deliver engaging and relevant learning experiences that are accessible to all students
  • Covering costs associated with making materials accessible for students with disabilities or English learners
  • Providing professional development and training for teachers on effective strategies for the delivery of remote and digital instruction”

60% based on number of individuals aged 5 through 24 and number of students, 40% 40 percent based on each State’s relative number of children eligible for Title 1, Part A An FAQ for the GEER Fund: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/05/FAQs-GEER-Fund.pdf State Allocations Table: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/04/GEER-Fund-State-Allocations-Table.pdf

Title I, Part A, Grants to Local Education Agencies

Title I provides financial assistance through SEAs to LEAs and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families.

Unless a participating school is operating a school-wide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of students from poor families are eligible to use Title I funds for school-wide programs that serve all children in the school. Title I funds are most often used for reading/language arts and mathematics support, which includes professional development for school personnel work with children receiving Title I-funded services.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Director; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible
  • Title I funds are intended to help close the achievement gap between high and low-performing students and increase achievement in academic subjects. To support distance learning, Title I funds must meet the reasonable, allowable and educationally related standard of practice designed to improve the school’s educational program.
  • VEDAMO is an authorized expenditure as an online learning platform through which distance learning instruction is delivered.

These funds can ONLY be used for qualified students per the guidelines of the Title I program.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 611

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) funds are used provide education in the “least restrictive environment” for children with disabilities. IDEA 611 funds supports school-aged children ages 5 to 21. School districts may use 15% of IDEA funding for early intervention services in regular education—response to intervention (RTI). Funds under this program are combined with state and local funds to provide a free and appropriate education to children with disabilities.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Special Education Director; IDEA Coordinator; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – IDEA funds may be used to provide virtual or remote instruction and related services for students with disabilities.
  • VEDAMO enables educators and tutors to offer adaptive learning opportunities that can be tailored for students with special needs, including students with auditory and visual learning styles.

IDEA funds may ONLY be used to serve the special education students or special ed-dedicated instructors, not the general student population.

Fifteen percent of IDEA funds can be used for early intervention of struggling students in reading and mathematics. RTI is using special education money to keep students from permanent placement in special education programs.

Title II-A Supporting effective instruction state grants

Title II, Part A is intended to increase student academic achievement consistent with challenging State academic standards, improve the quality and effectiveness of educators, increase the number of educators who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools, and provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective educators.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – To support distance learning, Title II funds can be used for professional development of staff.
  • VEDAMO is an allowable expenditure as a delivery mechanism for online professional development for staff, which may including support for staff in learning how to use online platforms.

Title II funds:

  • Cannot be used for students
  • Cannot purchase equipment, LMS platforms (online platforms), distance learning courses or software

Flexibility waivers may be granted to SEAs for COVID-19 to allow LEAs:

  • To use Title II, Part A funds to train educators concerning effective distance learning techniques.
  • To conduct time-sensitive, one-time, or stand-alone professional development.”

Title III English language acquisition

Title III is a supplemental grant under the ESEA that is designed to improve and enhance the education of English learners (ELs) in becoming proficient in English, as well as meeting academic content standards.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula
  2. Contact: Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – Districts may use Title III, Part A funds to improve instruction for ELs, including those with a disability, by acquiring and upgrading curricula and programs, using digital learning resources and software. VEDAMO can support allowable expenditures under this program such as:
  • Providing a medium for tutoring and intensified instruction for EL students
  • Facilitating parent and family engagement, a Title III program requirement

Both Title II and Title IV funds can be transferred into Title III funds for activities common to both programs —the purposes of both Title II and Title III and/or Title IV, are met. Title III funds cannot be transferred to other Titles.

Title IV, Part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants

The purpose of these grants is to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of states, LEAs, schools, and local communities to:

  • Provide all students with access to a well-rounded education;
  • Improve school conditions for student learning;
  • Improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.

States submit a plan describing how the SEA will use funds for state level activities. Each LEA in the state that has an application approved by the state agency will receive an allocation in proportion to its funding under Title I for eligible activities. The minimum allocation for an LEA is $10,000.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula to SEA, competitive at LEA level. Allocation is based on Title I funding.
  2. Contact: 21st CCLC Coordinator; Before- and After-School Coordinator; Federal Programs Director
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – Title IV-A funds can be used for purchase of equipment, materials, and training needed to support students with online or distance learning plans and platforms. VEDAMO supports the following qualifying activities under Title IV, part A:
  • Increasing access to technology and learning experiences supported by technology.
  • Providing students in rural, remote, and underserved areas with the resources to take advantage of high-quality digital learning experiences, digital resources, and access to online courses taught by effective educators.
  • Developing or using effective or innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous academic courses and curricula through the use of technology, including digital learning technologies and assistive technology.
  • States and districts may use Title IV, Part A funds to help educators better discover, use, and share digital content.

Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants support students’ academic achievement and provide a well-rounded education. Funds that are awarded under this program are tied to a percentage of the district’s Title I A funds— which provide financial assistance to districts with high percentages of students who are economically disadvantaged.

States and school districts have flexibility to focus these resources on locally-determined priorities to provide students with access to a well-rounded education, including rigorous coursework, and to improve school conditions and the use of technology.

Activities and programs covered under this grant to support access to a well-rounded education must be coordinated with other schools and with community-based services and programs, and can be partnerships with higher education institutions, business, nonprofits, community-based organizations, or other public or private entities.

Technology Infrastructure: 15% spending limitation waived for FY 2019 and any available 2018 carryover funds.

Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Rural and Low Income (RLIS)

The purpose of the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) grant program is to provide rural districts with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving student achievement.

  1. Formula or Competitive: Formula to SEA; subgrants to LEA (either by formula or competitively)
  2. Contact: Director; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – LEAs that receive RLIS grants may use program funds to conduct activities under selected ESEA programs, including the following programs for which VEDAMO products are an eligible expenditure:
  • Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs Operated by local education agencies)
  • Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students)
  • Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)

Rural school districts are those serving less than 600 students or in which the population density of each county is less than 10 persons per square mile. You may identify REAP districts by going to the ED REAP website listed below or by visiting state websites.

Funds under the Rural and Low-Income School program, which targets rural LEAs that serve concentrations of poor students, are allocated by formula to States, which in turn allocate funds to eligible LEAs.

Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Small Rural Schools (SRSA)

The Small, Rural School Achievement program provides rural LEAs with small enrollments with additional formula funds. (An LEA may not receive both RLIS funds and SRSA funds).

  1. Formula or Competitive:  Formula to LEA, but LEA must apply to receive
  2. Contact: Director; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – Recipients may use program funds to conduct activities under selected ESEA programs, including the following programs for which VEDAMO products are an eligible expenditure:
  • Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs Operated by local education agencies)
  • Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students) • Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)

Eligibility is restricted by statute, and awards are issued annually directly to eligible LEAs on a formula basis. The US Department of Education awards SRSA grants only to those LEAs that submit an application by the established deadline. If an LEA meets the eligibility requirements of the SRSA program, it may not receive an allocation under the Rural and Low-Income Schools program even if it does not receive an award under the SRSA grant program.

Career and Technical Education (Perkins Act)

State grants help State and local schools offer programs to develop the academic, vocational and technical skills of students in high schools, community colleges, and regional technical centers. Funds from this program can be used for a broad range of programs, services, and activities designed to improve career–technical education programs and ensure access to students who are members of populations with special needs.

  1. Formula or Competitive:  Formula
  2. Contact: Director of Career and Technical Education; Federal Programs Director; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  3. Why Vedamo Is Eligible – Perkins funds may be used to develop and expand postsecondary program offerings at times and in formats that are accessible for students, including working students, including through the use of distance education.

States have control over the split of funds between secondary and postsecondary levels. After this decision is made, states must distribute at least 85% of the grant funds to districts and institutions.

Online learning materials and associated costs must be supplemental to what is being provided by the LEA for all students.

Adriana Kubanska, Technical support at VEDAMO offers user-friendly assistance for individuals having technical problems with electronic devices, cases with Internet usage according to services we provide.
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