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American Rescue Plan Act Resources

March 11, 2021: President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, which includes the $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund to support libraries in closing the “Homework Gap” by equipping community members with home broadband, devices and services. In addition, ARPA has also allocated $200 million in funding to The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will support grants in every U.S. state and territory.

May 11, 2021: The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots and broadband connectivity for students, school staff and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 26, 2021: The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced a new funding opportunity for libraries that will provide direct support to address community needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals to this grant program may continue, enhance or expand existing programs and services, or launch new programs to address emergent needs and unexpected hardships. Applications for pandemic response funding are due June 28, 2021, with award announcements anticipated in October 2021. Learn more.

June 15, 2021: The FCC and USAC will open the first Emergency Connectivity Fund Program application filing window on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, which will fund equipment and services for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. The first application filing window is open through August 13, during which applicants will be able to submit requests for funding for purchases to be made between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Learn More.

ULC Member Talking Points

ULC has synthesized new insights from the latest research and guidance to create updated talking points, including information on the final rules released on May 11, 2021 from the FCC to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Click here to access these talking points in ULC’s Member Knowledge Exchange.

ULC Submits Comments to FCC on the Implementation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund

On April 23, 2021, ULC submitted comments to the FCC on the essential role of public libraries in closing equity gaps for home internet access. Building on ULC's Digital Equity Leadership Brief and action team meetings, as well as the ongoing discussions about ARPA funding through ULC Member Group calls, these comments urge the FCC to implement the ECF to allow for libraries to maximize their participation.

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Potential Funding Opportunities for Libraries

    Overviews

    American Rescue Plan - Library Relief
    American Library Association (web page)

    American Rescue Plan - State Guide
    American Library Association (web page)

    American Rescue Plan Includes Direct Aid to Cities and Counties
    International City/County Management Association (article)

    American Rescue Plan Act Funding Breakdown
    National Association of Counties (web page)

    COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse
    National Association of Counties (web page)

    U.S. Treasury Releases New Guidance on Certification Process for State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund
    National Association of Counties (article)

    Digital Equity Stimulus Funding
    National Digital Inclusion Alliance (article)

    American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Summary of Provisions
    National League of Cities (web page)

    COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Relief
    National League of Cities (web page)

    Emergency Connectivity Fund ($7.17 billion)

    Emergency Connectivity Fund - Information for Libraries
    American Library Association

    How the FCC Will Help Schools and Libraries Bridge the Digital Divide
    Benton Institute for Broadband & Society (article)

    FCC to Launch $7.17 Billion Connectivity Fund Program
    Federal Communications Commission (web page)

    Emergency Connectivity Fund FAQ's
    Federal Communications Commission

    Remote Learning Support (ECF) Launches in June
    Funds for Learning (article)

    Q&A: Libraries and the Emergency Connectivity Fund
    Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (web page)

    Statement from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)on FCC Final Order Distributing $7.1 Billion for Student and Educator Off-Campus Broadband Access
    State Educational Technology Directors Association (press release)

    Emergency Connectivity Fund Program
    Universal Service Administrative Co. (web page)

    Institute of Museum and Library Services ($200 million)
    Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds ($350 billion)
    Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund ($10 billion)

    Capital Projects Fund
    U.S. Department of the Treasury (web page)

    Education and Small Business Support

    Federal Funding to Close the Homework Gap & Digital Divide
    Education Superhighway (funding matrix)

    FAQs on The American Rescue Plan and the Arts and Creative Industries
    National Endowment for the Arts (web page)

    American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations
    National Endowment for the Humanities (web page)

    American Rescue Plan FAQ
    National Summer Learning Association (web page)

    U.S. Education Department Releases State Plan Template for the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
    U.S. Department of Education (press release)

    American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief
    U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (web page)

    SBA Launches $100M Community Navigator Pilot Program
    U.S. Small Business Administration (press release)

    ULC will be making updates to this page on an ongoing basis. Please email pnegron@urbanlibraries.org with feedback or suggested content.

    Last Updated: July 23, 2021