Many schools across the U.S. were shockingly unprepared for the shift to remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. Technological devices and protocols for online classes were lacking and students without reliable access to the internet were falling behind on their learning.
Help arrived in the form of the ARP Act which allocated $274 billion for education, distributed into four major categories: (1) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief; (2) Governor’s Emergency Education Relief; (3) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund; and (4) EANS or Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools.
What is EANS?
The Education Department awards EANS funds by formula to each Governor who has an approved ARP EANS application. By accepting an EANS award from the Department, a Governor designates the SEA (State Education Agency) to administer the program and access EANS funds from the Department’s grants management system (G5).
Governors and SEAs consult on the administration of EANS. To receive services or assistance, an eligible non-public school submits an application to the SEA at such time, in such a manner, and accompanied by such information as the SEA may reasonably require to ensure expedited and timely provision of services or assistance.
Examples of EANS awards in 2021 included $250 million for New York, $213 million for Florida, $187.5 million for California, and other multimillion-dollar distributions to states with higher populations. Comparatively, North Dakota received just under $4 million in EANS money, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Who is eligible to apply for EANS?
The purpose of the EANS program is to provide services and assistance to eligible private schools to address educational disruptions caused by COVID-19. Non-profit private schools are eligible to apply for funding under EANS provided that the school was in existence prior to March 13, 2020, and is not applying for or receiving a second round of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) on or after December 27, 2020.
What types of services or assistance are allowed under EANS?
EANS awards can be used for “secular, neutral, and non ideological” services and assistance, including sanitization, personal protective equipment, COVID testing, educational technology, and connectivity. Priority will be given to applications from private schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by COVID-19. (Updated September 17, 2021).
A non-public school may apply to receive services and assistance from the SEA or its contractors to address educational disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 emergency for:
- Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities (see D-3).
- Personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems.
- Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing.
- Other materials, supplies, or equipment recommended by the CDC for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety.
- Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress the virus.
- Educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment) to assist students, educators, and other staff with remote or hybrid learning.
- Redeveloping instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote or hybrid learning, or to address learning loss.
- Leasing sites or spaces to ensure safe social distancing.
- Reasonable transportation costs.
- Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss.
For details, check out the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program Full FAQ Document.
How does UDT support Educational Technology under EANS?
EANS funds educational technology for remote and hybrid learning. As a trusted technology partner in this space, UDT is driven by academic goals to deliver integrated tools and processes for a successful digital learning environment. Here are our Top 3 Education Technology Recommendations eligible for EANS funding––
1. Assistive Technology
From mobile devices to web-based tools and standalone apps, students can customize their experiences to best support their learning. Teachers also need access to more assistive technology hardware and software for engaging diverse learners. Allowable assistive technology expenditures under EANS include interactive panels (ex. Promethean, Samsung), chrome books, iPads, laptops, PCs, webcams, document cams, headsets, hot spots, MiFis, cabling, connectivity devices, and non-curriculum based subscriptions (i.e. Zoom).
2. Cloud Technology
UDT is in partnership with leading cloud solutions to make remote learning easier:
Microsoft suggests using their Microsoft Teams service to connect with students. With Microsoft Teams, educators can share lessons, create assignments, conduct exams with Microsoft Forms, and record lectures.
Cisco offers their Cisco Webex Teams and Cisco Webex Meeting to optimize online learning. With these services, an educator can extend access to their classroom, use technology for student-teacher collaboration, and share digital content in an instant.
3. Information Security
UDTSecure keeps student and employee data safe by quickly detecting, preventing, and responding to vulnerabilities and attacks. UDTSecure provides organizations with an advanced suite of managed security and threat intelligence services and solutions to quickly identify and react to incoming threats focused on stealing critical data or disrupting operations.
How are EANS Funds received and managed?
UDT is in partnership with ClassWallet — a consolidated platform that allows state education agencies to manage program funding for public and non-public schools. School administrators receive an account with funds and utilize the platform to manage reimbursements and vendor payments. State administrators are able to centralize the distribution, tracking and reporting of the funds in one place without the cumbersome and time-consuming paperwork.
Eligible schools receiving EANS funds will be provided access to SchoolWallet, a ClassWallet-managed spending management platform. The contracts between ClassWallet and the six states will go into effect at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Let’s talk about EANS
Make digital learning accessible to students most affected by learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic through the EANS Grant Program. The deadline to submit requests for reimbursement or vendor payment is extended to June 30, 2023.