Merski: Nearly $200,000 awarded to help close digital divide in Fort LeBoeuf School District
Grant to help fund technology, internet access
ERIE, Oct. 1 – Grant funding of $198,000 will help level the connectivity playing field for students in the Fort LeBoeuf School District by ensuring they have access to the internet and tech resources they need to learn.
Merski, D-Erie, said the funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund includes $144,000 to secure internet services and $54,000 for tech equipment.
“Kids benefit greatly from online learning support outside the classroom, and access to internet and tech tools are key components of that support,” Merski said. “Unfortunately, providing that access can be difficult for some households. This funding is going to help close the digital divide by ensuring that all students stay connected.”
Merski said the grant is part of a package of $20 million in funding to school districts statewide under the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a temporary fund created through the American Rescue Plan and administered by the Federal Communications Commission.
The fund helps schools and libraries cover costs associated with digital devices such as laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, educators and library patrons who currently lack sufficient access to broadband and connected devices.
More about the awards is available here.
The grant is part of the first wave of ECF funding. A second application window is now open, and eligible schools and libraries can apply at www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org.