Protecting Schools’ Remote-Learning Devices with CARES Act Funding

September 4, 2020 by Alex Foley COVID-19, Higher Education, K-12 0

The global pandemic has completely shifted the way we approach the world and our daily lives, and few areas have been harder hit than education.

Schools have been forced to evolve virtually every facet of how they operate and are working diligently to deploy effective remote and hybrid learning environments.

Because of this, technology has become an even more critical piece of a successful remote learning strategy.

School Technology Pre and Post Pandemic

In the last few years, it has become a convenient norm for schools to lend devices out to their students for use on campus or at home. 

Fast forward to today and it is has become a critical, necessary norm for our education system to function properly.

Unfortunately, we are seeing far too many schools deploying new and old devices without a proper protection program. This leaves either the school or the students/parents liable for the full costs in the event of damage, theft, device failure, etc.

In most cases, the lack of a device protection program is due to either a simple oversight or a lack of awareness of the solutions available to them.

For some schools, it may be because budgetary constraints coupled with the pandemic have pushed other elements to the forefront.

New Funding for Schools Provided by the CARES Act

Fortunately our government has taken some steps to alleviate this added burden on schools by dedicating a portion of funding from the recently-passed CARES Act to both K-12 and higher education institutions.

In total, education is receiving $30.7 billion in funding. The split of this funding is:

  • $13.2 billion for K-12
  • $14 billion for Higher Education
  • $3 billion for Governors to distribute at their discretion

The CARES Act lists 12 allowable uses for K-12 which includes "purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors..."

For higher education the CARES Act allows institutions to use up to 50 percent of the funds they receive to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.  At Safeware we offer a

These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).” 

Technology Protection Options for Both K-12 and Higher Education

At Safeware we offer a variety of technology protection solutions for both new and existing devices.

K-12 Solutions

  • Traditional, school-funded plans: your school/district funds a protection plan for your full device deployment

  • Parent-funded plans: this allows individual parents to purchase device protection plans for their children through an enrollment portal that is customized for your school

  • Hybrid plans: in a hybrid plan, subsidized students can be covered by schools while non-subsidized students can be enrolled through a parent portal option

Higher Education Solutions

  1. Campus Store Card Program: gives students the option to add coverage ranging from 1 to 4 years on any device they purchase from your campus stores 

  2. Institutional Program: provides coverage for faculty, staff, and institution-owned devices.

  3. Trade-Up Program: allows customers to trade in their old devices for credit at your campus stores to use on future purchases

  4. Post-Repair Program: provides 1 year of coverage on devices that are repaired by your campus store as long as they have a 90-day parts and labor warranty 

The Bottom Line

Neither school administrations, parents, nor students should have to deal with the daily stress that comes with operating unprotected devices, especially in today’s environment.

Between the additional funding provided by the CARES Act and the amplified need for reliable technology in today's remote learning environment, there is no better time for schools to implement a protection program for their technology.

Learn More About Safeware's K-12 Solutions Learn More About Safeware's Hi-Ed Solutions