The FCC is committing $37.7 million in Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) support to about 100,000 students nationwide, with a focus on Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Texas and Washington.
The funding will be administered by about 220 schools and school districts, two library systems and four consortia and will go toward broadband devices and connectivity. The goal is to support off-campus learning such as homework. It is administered by school districts and libraries.
The ECF program was created by the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021 as a way to enable students to keep pace in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest round of funding brings the total allocated to $7.03 billion, which is very close to the $7.17 billion for which the program is budgeted.
The latest funding is from the third of three application windows. In all, approximately $4.14 billion has been allocation from Window 1, $834 million from Window 2 and $2.06 billion from Window 3. The funding has supported more than 18 million students, 11,400 schools, 1,060 libraries and 125 consortia. It has provided nearly 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
“Starting the school year off strong is important, but a student’s continued success is dependent on access to broadband connections and digital tools,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC ECF awards. ” That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap for students.”
Last month, the program made awards totaling more than $40.8 million to support approximately 110,000 students, primarily in Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington. The funding will support about 220 schools and school districts, seven libraries and library systems and three consortia, according to the FCC.