States Can Ask to Use Existing Federal Education Funds for Remote Learning Tech

Wilbert Villalta, left, and Lindsey Lilley, right, employees of the Elk Grove Unified School District, register a Chromebook to be assigned to a student in the district, at Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove, Calif., Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Wilbert Villalta, left, and Lindsey Lilley, right, employees of the Elk Grove Unified School District, register a Chromebook to be assigned to a student in the district, at Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove, Calif., Thursday, April 2, 2020. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The U.S. Department of Education rolled out a waiver request process that states can use to repurpose existing federal funding to pay for new technology and teacher training associated with online learning.

The U.S. Department of Education announced a new waiver process this week that allows states to request permission to repurpose existing funds to pay for remote learning technology—a growing need as the coronavirus outbreak closes schools and forces teachers to provide online lessons to students in their homes. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law last month by President Trump allocates approximately $31 billion directly for schools and universities. But the law also provides schools with the flexibility to redirect existing funds they may have received through other programs in order to “move resources to areas of highest need during the national emergency,” according to the education agency. 

By requesting waivers of certain federal education laws, states could allow schools to repurpose existing federal dollars to pay for “technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning,” the department said.

Schools across the country have closed their doors, some for the remainder of the academic year, with many transitioning to online learning to keep students engaged. But in many communities a digital divide has emerged between students who have internet and computers at home to complete their schoolwork and those who do not have access and may fall behind.

"By extending additional funding flexibility to schools, we are helping to ensure student learning continues and supporting teachers as they transition to virtual classrooms,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a statement. “Local leaders have asked for the ability to steer more resources to local needs, and these new tools will help them do just that."    

The waiver process will allow states to deviate from some federal funding requirements. For instance, school districts could request to carry over more than 15% of their Title I grants to the next fiscal year. They could also request a waiver from prohibitions that would normally prevent districts from spending more than 15% of Title IV block grant money to purchase technology infrastructure.                                       

The Department of Education said states could expect to receive waiver approvals within one business day.

Some states have already reported preliminary approval of waivers.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced its waiver approval Tuesday. “This is a critical step in giving school leaders much-needed latitude as they face the economic uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister.

The Iowa Department of Education similarly announced it had received approval for a waiver this week.

Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.

NEXT STORY: The Supreme Court’s Wisconsin Decision Is a Terrible Sign for November

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.