Overview and Timeline
- March 27, 2020: The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump. This act included GEER 1 funding.
- April, 2020: A cross-agency team with representatives from Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer, community and vendor partners met to collect and review pandemic-related needs. Initial suggested priorities for GEER funding were developed, including subsidy for student devices and expansion of home broadband services.
- June-July, 2020: The NDE collected data on school district needs through the Digital Learning Profile and Plan survey. 287 public and non-public school districts responded and 147 indicated that student devices were needed.
- August-October, 2020: Governor Ricketts’ office, the NDE, and ESUCC completed legal agreements to distribute GEER 1 funds for student devices and broadband expansion. A $400 per-device subsidy amount was set. ESUCC Cooperative purchasing worked with vendor partners to establish a list of devices available for purchase.
- October, 2020: The ESUCC accepted applications for purchase and reimbursement of student devices from districts who indicated a need for devices on the Digital Learning profile and plan (wave 1).
- November, 2020: Wave 1 device requests were validated and confirmed with districts.
- December, 2020: Wave 1 devices were ordered through ESUCC Cooperative purchasing channels. A second wave of device requests was accepted from districts who did not respond to the original July, 2020 Digital Learning Profile and Plan survey.
The Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) fund of the CARES Act is targeted to provide support for students in Nebraska (public and nonpublic).
- Addressing the digital divide and related issues to support remote learning for students in K-12 schools
- Focus on providing equitable access to technology for all students and improving parity in access to all schools
- Can include hardware purchases for use of school students and improving access to reliable, high-speed internet for students
Governor Ricketts has allocated $12.5 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund toward the purchase of student computing devices for our state’s K-12 public and non-public schools and districts. Schools and districts were encouraged to participate in the Nebraska Department of Education’s Digital Learning Profile and Plan, which closed in July. Based on the data from this profile, 29,524 devices are needed to fulfill one-to-one device availability for students.
The purpose of this device plan is to promote equitable opportunities for achievement and advancement of all students statewide by providing highly useful computing devices in concert with all elements of the Hierarchy of Digital Learning Needs.