Though it’s the first few days of summer vacation for most kids in the country, the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is supporting their continued education with funding of almost $29 million focusing on eight states.
The program is adminstered by schools and libraries and goes toward broadband connectivity and devices for students.
The latest funding is aimed at schools in California, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. It will support about 120 schools and school districts, seven libraries and library systems, and four consortia. The funding is aimed at off-campus activities such as nightly homework and summertime online learning programs.
The awards all are from the third of three funding windows.
Overall, about $6.7 billion of the $7.17 billion the funding budget has been awarded in the program, which was created by the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021 to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this point, $4.14 billion was awarded from window 1, $834 million from window 2 and $1.77 million from window 3.
That funding is supporting about 18 million students, 11,000 schools, 1,050 libraries and 120 consortia. The program has provided almost 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
“To keep up with their learning during the summer, many students still rely on libraries and schools to make sure they have access to the internet when school is out of session. That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap by making sure all kids have the digital tools they need to connect with classrooms and teachers, all year round,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release.
On June 14, the FCC said that it was committing more than $21 million from the ECF to support about 40,000 students, with a focus on those in Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Texas and Wisconsin. The funding also came from the third application window. It will support five school districts and three schools.