Governor Tom Wolf has announced a $15 million program to help schools in Pennsylvania fund high-speed internet platforms and remote learning.
The money is part of the funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, which was dispersed to support states during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal act authorizes state governors to access money from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds in order to support educational efforts.
The plan from the Wolf administration will include securing broadband, mobile hot spots, tablets and other hardware for remote learning students, partnerships with the state library network and with the Pennsylvania Technical Training and Assistance Network, expanding the POWER Library Chat online homework help service, creating Open Educational Resources for student and teacher use, and creating a datacasting service with Pennsylvania PBS to connect students without internet access to their schools and other learning content via TV signals.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our schools to rethink and rework how to provide instruction to students who are learning completely at home or in a hybrid model,” Wolf said in a press release. “As schools reopen this fall, students need Internet connectivity, computers and other technology, and access to remote-learning platforms. This funding will help our students as we enter the new school year.”
According to the press release, the Wolf administration has thus far awarded $102.5 million in GEER funding to various educational institutions to support students and schools since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
More on remote learning in Pennsylvania:
Here’s a look at back-to-schools plans unveiled by central Pa. school districts
When could your school close because of coronavirus? Pa. releases recommendations
Harrisburg School District starts the school year with 100% online instruction