Pennsylvania officials recently announced that the first wave of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund has distributed $20.57 million to 126 school entities and libraries in the state – and now the second wave is open for applications.
The 126 applicants, including 86 school districts, 29 schools, and 11 libraries, will use $15.7 million for equipment and $4.9 million for securing internet service.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund was created to help schools and libraries close the digital divide. According to the Wolf administration, it’s the nation’s largest single effort to ensure students have digital devices and resources required for the school year.
“We know that access to technology and reliable internet help support our students’ learning when they’re not on campus, however, the pandemic has only increased and exacerbated inequities in access,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release. “The ECF program is providing a valuable resource to help school entities and libraries across the commonwealth create digital equity for all of Pennsylvania’s students, no matter what city or town they call home.”