In response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and ARP Act — relief packages designed in part to provide states with both funding and streamlined waivers to give state educational agencies (SEAs) necessary flexibilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief packages included almost $200 billion in emergency education funding, channeled for public schools mainly through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).
State awards for the ESSER Funds, rounds I, II and III, are in the same proportion that each state received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year (FY) 2019–20. Each state must use no less than 90 percent of its allocation to make subgrants to local education agencies (LEAs), based on each LEA’s share of funds received under Title I, Part A in fiscal year 2019–20.
ESSER III funding (ARP act) is the current relief money still open for obligation. The deadline for spending ESSER III funds is September, 30th 2024.
How Bark aligns with ESSER Funding:
- Bark’s offerings are authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and IDEA, as outlined above in funding descriptions for Titles I-IV
- Students with access to a Bark Phone are able to remain connected outside of traditional school hours, which allows the phone to be utilized in various settings, including before and after school programs, summer programs, remote instruction, whole-class learning, hybrid learning and enrichment programs
- Student access to a Bark Phone addresses student engagement and connectedness that may have been impacted by the significant changes due to the pandemic.
- A Bark Phone and its built-in monitoring solution increase student engagement by effectively reducing distractions to learning via the app management features that Bark provides.
- The Bark app’s powerful monitoring tools have a demonstrated record of success in providing alerts and early warning indicators for bullying, violence, and self-harm or suicidal ideation among students using a Bark device, allowing schools to improve conditions for student learning and maintain a safe and healthy student population.