Providing technology for a school is a struggle, especially when education gets its funding cut year after year.
The Century Foundation's recent study found that U.S. schools were underfunded by nearly $150 billion every year. That goes double for low-income school districts and districts with more than 50% Black or Latino enrollment.
Luckily, technology grants for schools help to fill in the gaps.
Learning grants, or funds, supplement a school's funding and enable them to educate their students better. But what are some of the more significant grants to look out for?
Here's a guide to some of the biggest technology grants available.
Acquiring additional technology for education means applying for grants. Fortunately, those grants come in many forms, such as quarterly and annual applications.
Solve for Tomorrow is Samsung's new solution to help students create change with STEM. It encourages students to create innovative solutions to transform and address issues in their communities. These include mental health awareness and sustainability.
The contest challenges students between grades 6 and 12 to create the best solution to those issues. Rewards total $2 million in technology and supplies for applicable schools.
Up to 100 semi-finalists from the pool of applicants will win $10,000. 10 national finalist schools will participate in a virtual pitch event where they'll present their projects to a panel of judges.
From there, the bottom seven of those ten will win $50,000 in technology and supplies. The National Grand Prize is then awarded to the top three schools.
The three grand prize winners each get $100,000 in technology and supplies. Public voting determines the community choice winner, who gets $10,000 in Samsung technology.
Although the application deadline for 2020 has already passed, it's an annual contest that's worth trying out for.
Sponsored by Educators of America, the MicroGrant program for Educators & Teachers offers equipment funding in the range of $250 to $5000.
A school's representative only has to apply on their website with what technological resources they require, how they'll be used, and any long-term strategy they may have.
The Spring deadline is April 15th, and the Fall deadline is September 15th.
The Connect for Success Program aims to help school communities that lack the technology they need to foster a successful learning environment.
Mobile Beacon's program provides schools with up to 25 laptops, as well as free LTE internet. This service is provided for a period of one year. After the free internet service period ends, schools will be able to continue with a discounted rate of $10 a month paid annually.
This program is currently offered in all 50 states and accepts grant applications year-round on a rolling basis.
Applicants are encouraged to have a clear plan for targeting students and measuring the impact of the program.
Due to the pandemic of 2020 and moving into 2021, there are specialized COVID-19 grants that have been introduced.
Their function is to help support the transition to remote learning. This often requires students to have access to both a computer and the internet.
The National Geographic Society's newest fund distributes support ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 to individual educators.
With this funding, they can design instructional resources to help educators teach better. Just because your students are stuck at home doesn't mean they can't get a good education.
Priority is given to communities hit hard by the pandemic and have not received National Geographic funding in the past.
Applicants must be doing work in the fields of science, social studies, and/or geography to qualify. Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis.
School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network offers a school-based Telehealth program. Its purpose is to ensure students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally, while confined in their homes.
Up to 25 grants will be awarded to eligible schools, with each award amounting to up to $250,000. The length of the project is five years. Eligible schools include local education agencies, charter schools, and private schools.
The application process is ongoing until funding is no longer available, so check their website for updates.
When writing your grant application, it's important to focus on what your school actually needs and can implement. In 2020, one big need that popped up in regards to remote learning is hotspot availability.
When you're forcing all or most of your students to work from home, they need internet access to do so.
Unfortunately, many students in low-income areas don't have internet. A hotspot for online school provides internet, but students may also live in households without computers.
One solution is to invest in a Smarter Hotspot.
The Smarter Hotspot provides CIPA filtered internet access for students. They can access all their classroom learning apps without needing a Chromebook device.
There are also companies manufacturing their own Chromebooks at affordable prices for schools to use. Consider where you'll invest your money when you apply for a grant.
A grant should also go towards making schools safer and more connected.
Even when the pandemic is over and more students return to schools, safety still comes first. District-issue devices help protect employees and students when a situation arises.
Generally, when something does come up, investigations confiscate employee phones. By having district-issued devices, you speed up the process and save your employees a lot of trouble.
Technology is always advancing. Unfortunately, schools do not always have the funding to meet that advance.
Technology grants for schools help to provide for your students. They also challenge your school to improve upon itself.
One such way to improve is by joining us for a free webinar. At Premier Wireless, we have webinars on leveraging funding to meet your community's needs.
Each webinar has 2 to 3 sessions per week, and they're frequently updated.