CARES Act Funding: Use it or Lose It

A bar chart showing the amount of CARES Act Funding unspent across the US as a whole (25%) and in Arkansas (29%), California (25%), Florida (88%), Louisiana (69%), Michigan (92%), Nevada (82%), Oklahoma (95%), and Texas (88%).

The US Treasury recently announced that the CARES Act funding program will come to a close at the end of the year. After that time, any coronavirus relief money left unspent by states will need to be returned. This means that states—which on average have spent just 25% of their funding to date—are in a position where they must use their remaining CARES Act allocation or lose it. 

The emergency relief fund created by the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided a total of $2 trillion to mitigate the economic and public health consequences of COVID-19. Part of this funding was set aside for K–12 schools to deal with issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic—around $13.2 billion in funding was specifically earmarked for Grades K–12. 

The funding can be put toward a wide range of uses, but a significant purpose of the funding is to target education technology deficits in the wake of the switch to long-term hybrid and/or distance learning. For example: 

  • Managing and coordinating long-term remote learning, including ensuring all students have the resources they need to receive virtual instruction
  • Addressing the needs of at-risk students, including English Learners, students with special needs, ethnic minority students, etc.
  • Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and programs) to facilitate regular, substantive interaction between instructors and students
  • Purchasing assistive technology or adaptive equipment for students with disabilities

Many states have addressed these needs by applying CARES funding to the purchase of solutions for hybrid/distance learning, such as our own comprehensive, cost-effective Twig Distance Learning program. The advantage Twig Distance Learning has over other programs is that it works just as effectively for hybrid, in-person, or remote instruction.

With Twig Coach video lessons, students enjoy the benefit of being able to view science lessons at their convenience—struggling students can even rewatch as needed to solidify their understanding. Hands-on Video Labs allow students to experience complete laboratory activities, remotely, developing skills in observation, gathering and analyzing evidence, and constructing explanations, without needing to have the materials on hand. As a result, the unique Twig Coach and Video Labs features allow teachers to assign lessons for asynchronous learning in which students work independently, but they also integrate seamlessly with in-person sessions to provide a comprehensive, standards-based solution.

Some of the key benefits of Twig Distance Learning for hybrid instruction include:

  • Rich, high-quality videos, visuals, and interactives for genuine engagement away from the classroom
  • Comprehensive coverage of 3-D science standards
  • Cross-curricular applications: Arts, Math, ELA
  • Opportunities to differentiate for ELL, SPED, on-level, and advanced students
  • On-demand sessions with the Twig Coach and Video Labs

To discuss how Twig Distance Learning can help you to make great use of your CARES Act funding before you lose it—or to request a free trial—get in touch today

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