Funding for EdTech Sustainability

Planning for Sustainability: Taking the Long View 


Planning for edtech funding sustainability is a crucial aspect of ensuring the long-term success and effectiveness of educational technology initiatives. School districts must first determine their desired outcomes and goals, and then work backward to determine the funding sources and strategies that will support them. This involves considering the needs of various student populations, developing innovative procurement plans, and exploring partnerships with external organizations to leverage additional expertise and resources.  

Here, Kajeet SVP of Public Sector, Michael Flood, shares his take on how districts can achieve this approach to planning.

 It's essential to think beyond the immediate availability of funds and create a sustainable funding framework that aligns with the district's long-term plans, addresses digital equity, supports ongoing maintenance and support, and maximizes the utilization of technology investments. By taking a strategic and forward-thinking approach to funding, districts can ensure that their edtech initiatives thrive and have a positive impact on student learning for years to come. 

Funding Sources for Digital Equity 

When it comes to sustaining a school or district’s investments into digital equity solutions, securing funding is the best way to ensure the long-term success of your program. Making sense of all the different funding programs and opportunities can be confusing, so here we’ve gathered a short list of some of the premiere federal funding sources that support digital equity solutions. 

Federal Relief Funds 
  • Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) - Since the inception of the $7.171 billion ECF program, under the umbrella of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress has allocated billions to schools, districts, and libraries looking to support their students and patrons with devices and/or Internet connectivity. Read more about ECF here. 
  • Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) - As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, the ESSER fund released $13.2 billion in supplemental funding for K-12 schools and districts. Many districts have used these monies to invest in tools and solutions to support student on-the-go learning, such as devices, online learning tools, data plans, and connectivity solutions. Read more about ESSER here. 

As the well runs dry for these relief funds, schools and districts are facing a funding cliff. It will be crucial for education leaders to identify ways to sustain their school or district’s technology purchases, so that they can continue supporting students with Internet access. 

Persistent Funding Sources

Currently, there are more than 900 persistent federal technology funding programs available that can be used to purchase and develop new or existing technologies, enhance students’ computer skills, provide teacher training, increase parent involvement in schools, and compile critical data to improve a schools’ overall academic achievement. The Title program is one of the largest sources of edtech funding for schools. 

  • Title Funds - Title funds are federal dollars that are meant to supplement existing state funding for education. The Title program was established by 1965’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and amended in 2015’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Learn more about Title funds here. 
  • ESEA/Title I - The Title I section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is specifically targeted toward children in poverty. It is the largest federal program supporting elementary and secondary education. Title I, Part A (often referred to as as “Title I”) provides financial support to LEAs and schools with high populations of students from low-income families, with the goal of ensuring all students have equitable opportunities to succeed academically. Learn more about ESEA/Title I funds here. 

Looking for a digital equity partner?

Kajeet is here to help. We have supported many of our 2,500+ district partners in their funding application and allocation processes, and we'd be happy to explore how we may be able to help you.

Speak with an EdTech Funding Expert


Krystle Pearson

Krystle Pearson, M.Ed. is the Kajeet Education Sr. Marketing Manager, bringing with her 16 years of experience, including her most recent role as a K-12 Director of Technology. She also serves on the Executive Board for the Virginia Alliance of Black School Educators.