In an educational landscape that is becoming more tech-reliant, it is surprising for most people to hear that access to funding and technology funding challenges for education could be setting up modern students for failure. Schools are constantly facing budget-cuts and looking for new funding models to supplement the dwindling support they are receiving on a state level. From asking district donors for monetary support to pleading for more funding from the government, investing in the newest technology and learning methods is not easy.
It is rare for a technology investment to be a one-time expense; however, once a vision for technology upgrades is in place, superintendents and school leaders should review the current budget for available funding then brainstorm creative funding options to fill the difference. Educational leaders need to realize that technology is often an ongoing expense that should be planned for each year. This approach to technology funding can help ensure that these expenses are automatically built into the annual budget for the educational organization – then can continue to be supplemented as needed with alternative funding options. Most often, these will be through generous donations from district families or through grants provided by the government.
One great example of how technology funding challenges for education may be overcome is the recent CARES Act Funding that was provided to support remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education received $30.75 billion to support technological capacity and access through the implementation of new hardware, software, instructional expertise and connectivity for students. Under this fund, four grant programs were created that spanned each unique level from elementary school to higher education. Looking for grant opportunities to supplement existing technology budgets is critical for overcoming common technology funding challenges for education.
How Can Technology Funding for Education be Maximized?
Excipio Consulting constantly works with educational institutions to ensure they have a strategy in place to address aging technology assets and increasing technology failures – even in the face of reduced funding. Our goal is to ensure that any technological issues that are hindering the learning process are dealt with quickly and efficiently so our clients can get back to what is important, molding the minds of the future. Throughout the process, we work to create long-term partnerships with schools to ensure they are not only prepared for the future but can thrive no matter what new technological requirements arise.
Our team can help educational organizations determine where their current technology stands through a technology assessment. This often helps identify what requirements are needed to scale services and capabilities currently provided to students and staff while also identifying potential cybersecurity threats. With this information, superintendents will have a clear picture of how much funding they need to meet upgrade requirements and provide a great experience for their students. If funding is not available directly, it is important to take the time to ensure any available grants through the U.S. Departments of Education are being sought.