The Federal Communications Commission said it has secured $40.8 million through the latest round of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund. The money will provide students with internet access, equipment, and digital services necessary to thrive in school.
The funds will be distributed to 220 schools and districts, seven libraries and library systems, and three consortia to benefit 110,000 students nationwide. Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington are some of the states receiving ECF funds.
“With the school year in full swing, the FCC continues its work to ensure students everywhere have access to broadband connections and digital tools they need to successfully complete their schoolwork,” 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 headed back to class.
The Homework Gap, a phrase coined by Rosenworcel, describes the disadvantages students without internet access face in an education system incorporating online tasks into daily studies. Funding from the ECF grants schools and libraries the resources to offer homework help, online summer programs, laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, internet access, and equipment for off-campus use.
The ECF is a $7.2 billion program that has helped connect 18 million students to the digital resources necessary for completing their studies since launching in 2021. The program has approved $6.99 billion in funding commitments, lending aid to 11,300 schools, 1,060 libraries, and 120 consortia. Funding has provided 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections for students to finish homework outside school.
This latest round closes the third “application window” for school districts and libraries to apply for support, garnering $1.98 billion according to the FCC. The first window approved $4.14 billion, and the second $834 million. For a complete list of approved schools and libraries, visit the ECF website.