Teacher Appreciation Week has gratitude to our educators top-of-mind at Cisco. We believe we appreciate teachers by empowering them and that starts with more access to the tools, resources, and funds they need to do their jobs well. As we settle into the next normal in education, K-12 schools, libraries and institutions of higher education are able to tap newly released American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase the technologies they’ll need to sustain ongoing hybrid learning. These innovative education technologies can help staff, faculty, and students make a safe return to the traditional school building and college campus. But how can you maximize your share of the ARPA pie to leverage the best EdTech for remote and on-site learning?

Over the past decade, educators have been leveraging E-rate and other funding strategies, including more consistent OpEx spending, to increase both the quantity and quality of technologies in their classrooms. And since early 2020, they’ve been scrambling to extend that technology to distance learning as well. For many, that was an unexpected challenge that revealed a great deal about their IT infrastructure and the necessity to modernize it to support the solutions they’d need to be successful in the next normal.

The need for new IT infrastructure

As the number of devices connected to their networks have grown exponentially, so have the security and bandwidth needs. And as students return to campus in many localities, the need for expanded wireless has driven the parallel need for more access points and analytics to gain deeper insights into student movements and clustering which might exceed mandated densities for a safe and healthy learning and work environment.

Together, these issues are revealing the urgent need to replace switching, wireless and routing infrastructure with hardware and software solutions like Cisco’s Catalyst 9000 Series of switches that offer twice the capacity to support more users and devices, all for a lower price than previous generations.

There is also the need for advanced analytics that can help create safe learning environments and securely connect the physical and virtual campus. That’s why solutions like Cisco DNA Spaces for Education are now critical since they help drive a safe and healthy return to campus for students, faculty, and staff.

In addition, increasing security threats are driving the need for advance solutions like the Cisco User Defined Network. It provides each end-user with their own network partition, via a mobile app, that enables them to securely and easily register their devices so that they’re ready to go as soon as they step foot on campus.

How to maximize your ARPA Funding

For years, the Cisco Public Funding Advisors have been the go-to experts on education funding. We’ve helped K-12 schools and institutions of higher education across the nation navigate the maze of funding options, better understand which technologies to invest in, and prep their strategies to maximize their available dollars. From E-rate, to bonds, and state and federal grants we’ve worked hard to educate our sellers and customers on the funding and technology possibilities before them.

Thanks to the recent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) approved March 11, 2021, our Public Funding team is still hard at work. But with $1.9 trillion newly authorized for release, the need for guidance is even greater. And your questions more complex. That’s why we’ve decided to host three new webinars, led by the Cisco Public Funding Team.

Learn more about ARPA and Education technology

If you’re in education, state/local government or healthcare, we encourage you to join us for a deeper dive into the workings of ARPA funding. You’ll learn how your organization can leverage ARPA to enhance your cybersecurity, update your broadband and network infrastructure, and secure your facilities for a safe return to work and school. Plus, you’ll discover how you can maximize your share of ARPA funds.

Register now for one of our new funding webinars:

  • The American Rescue Plan Act for Education Watch Now!
  • The American Rescue Plan Act for Healthcare Watch Now!
  • The American Rescue Plan Act for State & Local Government Watch Now!

It’s been an unprecedented year of challenges—and an unprecedented year of public funding. But you’re not alone. The Cisco Public Funding team is here to help.

Additional Resources

Education is evolving at an unparalleled rate. Hear from IDC on how to prepare for a digital future.

WATCH: The power of User Defined Networks in Education

Infographic: Have you heard about Wi-Fi 6? Top 6 reasons you need to

K-12 Special programs and offers for EdTech

Cisco Education