B - Readily funds technology as part of an award
Tennessee Department of Education
Through the COVID Relief Act of 2021, $81.88 billion was allocated to the US Department of Education (USED) for the Education Stabilization fund. After a small set aside of this total, 5% of the remaining funds were to be used to make supplemental Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds grants. Further, from the total GEER funding available, the ED Secretary has reserved funds to also provide Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) grants.
A non-public school receiving services or assistance under this subsection shall use such services or assistance to address educational disruptions resulting from the qualifying emergency for—
- supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities;
- personal protective equipment;
- improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems to ensure healthy air in the non-public school;
- training and professional development for staff on sanitation, the use of personal protective equipment, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases;
- physical barriers to facilitate social distancing;
- other materials, supplies, or equipment to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff during the qualifying emergency;
- expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress coronavirus, to conduct surveillance and contact tracing activities, and to support other activities related to coronavirus testing for students, teachers, and staff at the non-public school;
- 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 learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss;
- leasing of sites or spaces to ensure safe social distancing to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- reasonable transportation costs
- initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss; or
- reimbursement for the expenses of any services or assistance described in this list [except for items 3 (except that portable air purification systems shall be an allowable reimbursable expense), 4, 9, and 12] that the non-public school incurred on or after the date of the qualifying emergency, except that any non-public school that has received a loan guaranteed under paragraph 36 of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) as of the day prior to the date of enactment of this Act shall not be eligible for reimbursements described in this paragraph for any expenses reimbursed through such loan.
Further, GEER funds shall not be used—
- to provide direct or indirect financial assistance to scholarship-granting organizations or related entities for elementary or secondary education; or
- to provide or support vouchers, tuition tax credit programs, education savings accounts, scholarships, scholarship programs, or tuition-assistance programs for elementary or secondary education.
The control of funds for the services or assistance provided to a non-public school under GEER, and title to materials, equipment, and property purchased GEER funds, shall be in a public agency, and a public agency shall administer such funds, services, assistance, materials, equipment, and property. Further, all services or assistance provided under GEER, including providing equipment, materials, and any other items, shall be secular, neutral, and non-ideological.
History of Funding
Non-public school allocations for GEER EANS can be found here: https://eplan.tn.gov/documentlibrary/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentKey=1715485&inline=true
An overview of differences between CARES Act GEER and GEER II is visible at: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/01/FINAL_-GEER_FactSheet_1.8.211.pdf
An eligible non-public school is an elementary or secondary school that:
- Is non-profit;
- Is accredited, licensed, or otherwise operates in accordance with State law;
- Was in existence prior to March 13, 2020; and
- Did not, and will not, apply for and receive a loan under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was made possible on or after December 27, 2020.
- A non-public school that received a PPP loan prior to December 27, 2020, may receive services or assistance under the EANS program.
- A non-public school that applies for a PPP on or after December 27, 2020, but does not receive funds under PPP, may apply for the EANS program so long as they meets the requirements and deadlines of the SEA.
- If a non-public school's application for services or assistance under the GEER EANS program is denied, they are still eligible to apply for a PPP loan.
Faith-based non-public schools are eligible to participate in the EANS program to the same extent as other eligible non-public schools. However, all services or assistance provided under the program must be secular, neutral, and non-ideological.
An SEA shall prioritize services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by the qualifying emergency.
Applications are due July 27, 2021.
This is a one-time emergency funding opportunity. Future deadlines are not anticipated.
A total of $2,750,000,000 has been allocated for the GEER Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools Grants Program. The allocation for each state shall be based on the number of children within the state who are ages 5 through 17 and at or below 185% poverty, as well as enrolled in non-public schools in the State.
Tennessee has been granted a total of $100,640,521 for GEER II, of which a total of $72,838,359 is available for the GEER EANS grant opportunity. The SEA may reserve no more than $364,192 of their allocation to administer the services and assistance provided to nonpublic schools under GEER EANS.
To the extent practicable, SEAs must strive to obligate all funds for services or assistance to non-public schools in the state in an expedited and timely manner, but not later than 6 months after receiving the funds. Funds under this program will remain available for non-public school obligation through September 30, 2023. Further, funds may also be used to reimburse any allowable pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national coronavirus emergency was declared.
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