The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it has secured an additional $37.7 million through a new round of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund. The program provides students with on and off-campus internet access, equipment, and other digital services needed to excel in school.
The funds will benefit 100,000 students in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington. More than 220 schools and districts, two library systems, and four consortia will receive funding.
“Starting the school year off strong is important, but a student’s continued success is dependent on access to broadband connections and digital tools,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap for students.”
The Homework Gap refers to the disadvantages facing students without internet access as more districts incorporate online tasks into their curriculums. ECF funds help schools and libraries gain the resources necessary to help with homework and offer online summer programs to keep students stay engaged with learning year-round. The program also helps cover the cost of equipment and services for off-campus use, including laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, and internet access.
Since launching in 2021, the ECF has approved $7.03 billion in funding commitments that have helped connect 18 million students to the digital resources required to complete their education. The program has provided aid to 11,400 schools, 1,060 libraries, and 125 consortia. Funding has provided 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections for students to complete homework and tutoring outside of school.
Visit the FCC website to learn more about the Homework Gap and Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Learn Without Limits initiative. Additional details about which schools, libraries, and consortia received funding commitments can be found here.