Improving rural broadband for students returning to school this year
As students prepare for the new school year, it is clear everyone will need reliable internet. Many school systems are doing a combination of in person and virtual learning.
School systems all across rural America are releasing their plans for the new year amid COVID-19. Many are doing a combination of in person classroom attendance and online courses. NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association says that it is imperative that all students have internet access.
The Rural Education Association and NTCA have sent a letter to their membership asking teachers and administrators to be proactive to specifically locate those in rural communities that lack broadband connectivity. National Rural Education Association’s Allen Pratt states, “Sometimes we don’t always ask for help, and for our part of it we want rural schools to say, ‘Here’s our provider, here’s our problems, what are your solutions, or how can you help us?’”
The latest round of COVID relief does not contain money for rural broadband. The NREA says that there is still some money left in the CARES Act that schools could use to help offset the cost of getting every child connected to the internet.