Local school districts will soon benefit from new legislation passed.
Lawmakers, in the final few days of the 2020 session, looked at how CARES Act funds could be used to help students in rural areas of the state.
Senate Bill 3057 passed both chambers and states a certain allotment of CARES Act funds will be used to purchase licenses for wifi hot spots for students who do not have access to internet service. Its one of several options to ensure that every student has the connectivity required for distance learning.
“We all know there are many rural areas in our district with little to no internet access,” said Republican Sen. Rita Potts Parks of Corinth. “With the additional $50 million, we could purchase more licenses for Wi-Fi hotspots.”
Parks said the money will be distributed based on a formula taking into account the unserved areas according to FCC data and free and reduced lunch application models.
“Regardless, every school we receive some funds,” she added. “This extra money is just another way we can give these students a more positive online learning experience during this COVID pandemic.”
The lawmaker also said CARES Act funds – approximately $370 million – will be used to provide Chromebooks and iPads to school districts to enhance online learning.