COVID Relief Funds for Schools: Why Spend Them on IT Tools?

Since the pandemic started two years ago, the federal government has issued more than $200 billion USD in emergency funding to help schools overcome pandemic-wrought challenges and keep lessons going to make up for the learning losses that have impacted students across the country.

COVID-19 funding for schools is allocated to K-12 schools and Higher Ed institutions through various channels, and what’s important to know is that relief funds need to be utilized within a certain time frame. Here is a quick breakdown:

ESSER: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
HEERF: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Why Use COVID Relief Funds on IT Tools?

When the pandemic made remote learning a necessity, many schools reportedly assigned much of their relief funds to the purchase of IT hardware and software to facilitate the transition. Today, as more students gradually return to classes on campus, technology and connectivity are expected to remain key priorities for schools of all levels to support an increasingly dynamic learning environment.

EDU COVID Spending Plans
(Source: FutureEd)

What does this mean? Well, investing in technology is much more than just purchasing computers. It’s about making sure that there is a secure and robust IT infrastructure in place, providing a stable virtual environment where students can effectively explore new and innovative learning opportunities.

This starts with investing in a reliable endpoint management solution for initial provisioning of new hardware, ongoing maintenance, and ensuring endpoint security for all student and faculty devices – whether on campus or at home.

Investing in IT Resources

To gain COVID relief funds approval for the purchase of IT toolsets, your chosen solution should provide two primary advantages:

  1. Time savings: Enabling IT teams to be as efficient as possible as they support a growing fleet of user devices across a huge range of time-consuming tasks from quarterly lab refreshes to troubleshooting day-to-day technical issues.

  2. Security: Enabling IT teams to keep all staff and student devices up to date and secure by staying on top of critical OS and software updates.

With many school IT departments typically comprising a small number of staff, it often feels like there is never enough time to do everything on the to-do list. The use of a fast and reliable computer imaging solution for PC provisioning, quarterly lab refreshes, and PC break-fix helps IT admins save time in their day-to-day tasks, while also giving them the much-needed bandwidth to maintain their network of end user devices more effectively.

In the long run, equipping IT with the right endpoint management solution provides a more secure and productive way to handle PC lifecycle management and device provisioning across schools and school districts, whether lessons take place in person or remotely.

Building a 21st-century classroom

Even before the pandemic, there was already a growing use of technology in classrooms at all levels to augment and enhance learning experiences for students. From implementing 1:1 computing initiatives to introducing more interactive modes of learning across the curriculum, a secure IT environment and the use of PCs have come to play a vital role in modern education.

As more schools return to in-person lessons, the ever-present possibility of pandemic-related disruptions also means that making provisions for remote learning and related IT infrastructure continue to be important. And tapping on federal COVID relief funding to invest in essential IT software is a crucial step in the right direction.  

If you’re wondering about what success could look like, learn how these schools are using SmartDeploy* to improve endpoint security, streamline computer management processes and save valuable IT hours.                      

Ohio School District Logo UVU Logo CalPoly Logo

*SmartDeploy is ESSER-funding approved.