The Federal Communications Commission announced last week that it is committing $642,600 to Marion County Schools from the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Eligible students and district staff will receive access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-premises educational needs. The funding can be used to support off-campus learning, such as homework and virtual learning, as schools continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Marion County, students whose homes are eligible for Windstream internet will be able to obtain connectivity for free through June 30th. The school system will also add 700 technological devices to aid in student learning.
Emergency Connectivity Funds have been made available to provide resources for schools and libraries across the country, from small rural towns to large cities. Recognizing the need for broadband connectivity, the FCC has invested more than $10 billion nationwide to close a "homework gap" that was worsened by the pandemic.