Technology Sustainability Toolkit - Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Technology Sustainability Toolkit

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About the Toolkit

Robust and consistent use of technology to enhance learning has been a goal of many school districts for years, but adequate funding to provide equitable access to technology and broadband for all students has been a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the use of 1:1 technology for all students and resulted in an unprecedented allocation of relief funds for education and technology funding in particular. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), $122 billion became available to K-12 schools, in addition to $13.2 billion through the March 2020 CARES Act and $54 billion through the December 2020 COVID Relief Package.

School districts used these new funds to bolster their existing technology and related systems with varying degrees of planning. Districts rely on roadmaps to achieve both long-term educational technology learning goals and long-term departmental information technology and infrastructure goals. Districts also need to document strategies to maintain the technology plans and programs, activities, and partnerships as this funding runs out.

This toolkit is designed to provide digestible bits of information for consideration as districts move through the planning process of funding programs after the end of these COVID Relief funds. We realize that each school district and learning community is different. We developed this toolkit with input from Verizon Innovative Learning Schools partner districts, and incorporated our own knowledge as former school district IT leaders and superintendent cabinet members, representing decades of experience, to serve as a source of inspiration and insight for planning.

Ultimately, districts will need to develop plans that leverage available funding to realize long-term goals, like equitable access to devices and transformative instructional practices that result in significant student outcomes. Districts may meet the “funding cliff” when COVID Relief funds are no longer available in the fall of 2024. This toolkit will provide guidance to school districts to make programming and purchasing adjustments with the least amount of impact to teaching and learning while maintaining digital equity for all learners.

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