How to Use Federal Funding to Buy Edtech Tools (2021)

Want to know how to access federal funding to buy Labster for your high school, college or university? These two guides will help you quickly find education funding from the US federal government to help your institution pay for Labster and other edtech tools that enable distance learning and support recovery from pandemic-related learning loss.

1. How your high school can use ARP Funds for education technology

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act created the $122 billion ESSER III fund for K-12 education. States and school districts can purchase edtech as well as get reimbursed for purchases made going back to the start of pandemic-related distance learning.

ARP ESSER III funds can be used to help districts and high schools pay for:

  • Education technology, including Labster virtual labs
  • Summer learning programs
  • Afterschool programs
  • Other activities that address learning loss with evidence-based interventions

High School Guide to American Rescue Plan Funds and Other Federal Funds for Education

Tips for writing your ESSER III Application:

To access ESSER III funds, your school district or Local Education Agency (LEA) must:

  • Use stakeholder feedback in the creation of their ESSER III plans. 
  • Engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders, including students; families; school and district administrators and special education administrators; teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions; as well as any tribes or civil or disability rights organizations in the LEA, as well as groups that represent students with disabilities, ELs, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, and those who are incarcerated. 
  • Post your ESSER III plan on the LEA’s website, presented in a clear, uniform format, and accessible to all. Accessibility may require written or oral translations for non-English speakers and providing the document in an accessible format for individuals with disabilities.
  • Describe how the needs of special populations will be met with ESSER III funds. 
  • Set aside 20% of funding for evidence-based activities to address learning loss. 
  • Follow maintenance of equity (MEQ) and ensure that the highest poverty schools are not disproportionately underfunded nor understaffed (in terms of FTEs). 
  • Describe how they will meet CDC guidelines to reopen schools safely. 
  • Post a plan to return to in-person instruction within 30 days of receipt of ESSER III funds. 

Source:
https://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/grants/esser-iii-faq-42821.pdf


2. How your college or university can use ARP Funds for education technology

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act created the $39.6 billion HEERF III Fund to provide emergency grants for higher education institutions in the United States. Over 5,000 colleges and universities can use HEERF III funds, which include: 

  • $18 billion for public and private colleges and universities (with $10 billion specifically for community colleges)
  • $5.4 billion for HSIs (Hispanic-Serving Institutions)
  • $2.6 billion for HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
  • $190 million for TCUs (Tribal Colleges and Universities)

HEERF III funds can be used to help colleges and universities pay for:

  • Technology associated with the transition to distance education, including Labster virtual labs and other education technology
  • Defraying revenue lost due to coronavirus
  • Faculty and staff trainings
  • Payroll 
  • Reimbursement for allowable expenses already incurred (dating back to March 13, 2020, when the COVID-19 national emergency was declared)

Higher Ed Guide to Federal Funds Available for Colleges and Universities


Tips for Applying for HEERF III Institutional Aid:

Important: not all institutions need to apply! HEERF III funds are automatically available to your institution if it has already received funds under the CRRSAA (the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021). 

Application is only required if:

Terms and Conditions for Receiving ARP HEERF III Institutional Portion Funds: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/arpheerfiiicaa1institution.pdf  

Application Deadline: If these conditions describe your college or university, you must apply to receive HEERF III funds for your institution by August 11, 2021. 

HEERF Voluntary Decline Deadline: If you have already received HEERF III funds and want to decline these funds (or a portion of them), you must submit the Voluntary Decline of HEERF Funds form by August 11, 2021: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/arpheerfiiivoluntarydecline.pdf 

Questions? Contact our team at labster.com/feedback. 

Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest in science teaching and learning.

We Can Make Virtual Labs Work for You

“The virtual labs have proven to stimulate students' natural curiosity, knowledge retention and outcomes.”
Dr. Brian Harfe
University of Florida

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 


You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

Sales Demo: Discover how Labster
improves student grades and learning outcomes!

Limited to 100 people

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.

%%%selected_title%%%

Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    %%%selected_title%%%
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container

    Techniques

    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully

    IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

    Labster Website

    Did you receive a link or email invitation to access Labster via the Labster website? You will be using Labster Direct (URL) or our Course Manager login. Check with your instructor or read more below.

    School LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more. 

    IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

    Labster Website

    Are you accessing Labster through Labster Direct or the new Course Manager account login? Learn more below.

    Your LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    Faculty Resources

    To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.