Since the FCC’s announcement of the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program on May 11, and the subsequent opening of the application filing window on June 29, school districts have been working to obtain reimbursement for their COVID-19 technology purchases. The FCC ruling states that this funding will be awarded for purchases made between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 to meet the needs of students and staff who would otherwise lack access to basic online educational opportunities.
Related: FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund: Fast Facts and Tips for Applying
Once districts receive their ‘slice of the pie,’ the question becomes – how will they spend it?
School Districts’ Funding Strategy
In a June 2021 survey, EdWeek Market Brief asked 280 K-12 school district administrators from across the nation how they plan to spend their ECF monies in the coming year.
The results show that hotspots for students, along with Chromebook laptop devices, will remain top priorities for district leaders.
Data like this reminds us of the breadth of the digital divide – which still affects 12 million K-12 students today – and reveals the impact that these connectivity solutions have in enabling students’ ability to learn outside of the classroom and keep up with their peers.
Also important to note is the 17% of K-12 leaders who cited their plans to install WiFi connectivity on their school buses. As an eligible expense under the ECF, this is a valuable and cost-effective way to capture lost learning time for students while they are on the bus, either to and from school or while at offsite events, like athletic competitions or field trips.
Additional Emergency Connectivity Fund Resources
We understand that busy professionals like you don’t have a lot of extra time to put towards understanding this FCC ruling and how the ECF applies to your school or district.
That’s why we put together some resources that are digestible and to-the-point to help you get up to speed.
How Can Kajeet Help?
As you evaluate your district’s plans for how to spend your ECF funding, consider partnering with Kajeet. Kajeet’s suite of Education Broadband™ services and connected devices are 100% reimbursable through ECF. Kajeet data plans are well within the price range specified as acceptable by the FCC, and all hardware, including Chromebooks, laptops, routers and WiFi hotspots, are provisioned on its connectivity management platform, Sentinel.
Kajeet has helped many of our over 2,700 school district and library partners secure funding for student and patron connectivity initiatives, and we would be honored to support you in your organization’s digital equity goals.
To learn more and schedule a consultation with a Kajeet Solutions Engineer, contact us today.