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Helping K-12 Schools Navigate the American Rescue Plan (ARP)

Learn more about how K-12 schools can use ARP funds to upgrade security and mitigate future threats

Background on ARP and ESSER Funds for K-12 Schools

As part of the March 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP), the United States federal government has made over $120 billion available to K-12 schools and school districts to support safe reopening, sustain safe operation and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nation’s students.

For K-12 schools in the US, ARP funds are available through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund and distributed based on Title I enrollment via local educational authorities (LEAs). States recognize LEAs differently, so contact your state authorities to identify your LEA. Check the ESSER FAQ to learn more.

See how much K-12 education funding has been allocated to your state: View State Allocations

It is also important to understand that there are different ESSER funds authorized by different Acts -- including the ESSER Fund (CARES Act)  and ESSER II Fund (CRRSA Act), in addition to the APR ESSER Fund -- all with varying designations for use of funds and expirations at different increments. The US Department of Education has put together a useful document outlining these differences and providing information on timelines.

What Can ARP/ESSER Funds Be Used For?

The funds can be used to help reduce class sizes, hire additional school resources like custodians or counselors, or to modify spaces and update technology. Updating technology can help mitigate the threats students face in schools as well as facilitate reopening strategies – both of which can be addressed with new security technology.

How LenelS2 Solutions Can Help

In support of parent company Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program, LenelS2 solutions enable touchless access, occupancy management, enhanced access control and proactive screening, allowing organizations – including K-12 schools – to operate more safely and efficiently. Learn more about our solutions.

  • Upgrade school security with enhanced access control to reduce points of ingress
  • Improve school door security by automatically locking doors during school hours
  • Reduce contact touch points by deploying touchless access and automatic doors for interior and exterior doors
  • Provide occupancy management tools to manage social distancing and ensure safe distributions of faculty and students throughout school rooms and buildings
  • Efficiently screen students, staff and visitors with integrated facial recognition-based systems which detect masks and can scan for elevated temperatures
  • Facilitate emergency communications with mobile apps
  • Enhance security for after-school programs with flexible event scheduling
  • Improve access for people of all abilities

Who Should You Contact to Claim Funds For Your School?

  • For public schools, it is recommended that you contact your state department of education to learn more about the program
  • For private schools, it is recommended that you contact the local education authority

Act Now

Certain ARP ESSER funds can only be awarded through September 30, 2021, and this awarded funding must be spent within two calendar years.

Other Sources of Funding to Consider

  • School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP)
    • Funding includes training to prevent student violence, metal detectors, locks, lighting, technology for expedited notification during an emergency, and any other measure that the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office determines a significant improvement in security
  • Local Grants

Need Help or Have Questions?

Need additional information about the ARP ESSER? We can provide additional guidance about how the funds can be used to improve the health, safety and security of your school.

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