Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Sept. 10 that she has awarded $72.34 million of CARES Act funding to colleges and universities around the state for the purchase of technology and infrastructure related to remote learning.
Of the funds awarded, $27,345,000 will go to community colleges and $25 million will go to four-year institutions. Also, $20 million will go independent colleges.
For community colleges, $8 million of the money awarded will go to purchasing laptops to loan out to low-income students, and other students within special populations, to be used in remote learning. Also, $2.92 million will go to purchasing video conferencing equipment in classrooms.
“Alabama’s community colleges have adapted quickly to a new learning environment at each of our 24 colleges, but we are constantly looking for new, innovative and engaging ways to improve the student experience,” Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker said. “We are grateful for the additional resources this funding will provide to enhance learning for Alabamians for years to come.”
The money to four-year institutions will go toward establishing a reimbursement for universities for costs that have been incurred related to remote instruction and learning. Also, maximum allocations per institution have been established.
“While the Higher Education Partnership is energized by the return to campus of our students this fall, the year has certainly been filled with COVID-19 related challenges for Alabama’s 14 public universities,” Alabama Higher Education Partnership Executive Director Gordon Stone said. “Throughout the year, Gov. Kay Ivey and her team have worked with the institutions to make sure that Alabama’s next generation of leaders have been served with a continuous learning experience.”
Independent colleges will also be establishing a reimbursement program to assist colleges that have incurred COVID-19 related expenses. There will be maximum allocations per institutions, as well.
“On behalf of the 25,000 students of Alabama’s Independent Colleges, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the governor,” Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President Paul Hankins said. “The additional support is greatly appreciated in this unprecedented time of financial need. These funds will go a long way to ensure our schools can remain open. Our colleges have done everything necessary to keep their students safe and on campus.”