You’ve heard all the acronyms –  CARES, GEERS, CRRSA, ESSER, ARP –  but what do they all mean? How much funding is available through each of these new federal acts? To whom is the money allocated? And, most importantly, how can they help efforts to ensure data interoperability across K-12 education? 

In March, Congress passed H.R 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 adding significant additional funding to the previous Coronavirus relief packages and earmarking billions of dollars for education. Since then, information has started to come out from the U.S. Department of Education on allowable uses, state plan templates, assurances, and data collection requirements. One thing is for sure, state and local governments will have new demands on their data, their data systems, and their abilities to respond to students as we all return to school and recover from the pandemic. 

As your state or district agency starts to dig through this funding and how to put it to use for longer term planning, our friends at the Data Quality Campaign have put together a fantastic quick reference resource on how State and Local Governments Can Use Federal Funding for Education Data. This resource identifies federal funding streams that are flexible, specify data as an allowable activity, or are allocated specifically for data, and provides details on the amount of funding most likely to be used for these purposes, where possible.

We’ll dig into these funding opportunities more with a session at the Ed-FI Exchange Live in June. I’ll be joined by CCSSO’s Peter Zamora to understand the funding streams and how states and districts can put the alphabet soup to work on interoperability! If you would like to register for Exchange Live 2021, check out our website.

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