SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The State of Texas has announced that $200 million has been allocated in Coronoavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Texas Education Agency for the purchase of eLearning device and home internet solutions. TEA will use the money to purchase and distribute devices, hotspots, routers, and more based on specific needs identified by local education agencies.
“As school districts delay the start of in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19, it is essential that we work to provide Texas students with the devices they need to connect and communicate online for classroom instruction,” said Governor Abbott. “As we continue to combat COVID-19 in Texas, we are committed to providing reliable and effective solutions that will help students academically succeed while protecting public health.”
The money also will establish a reimbursement program for devices and home internet costs incurred by LEAs from May 21st through September 1st.
“No child should ever be denied the ability to achieve his/her dreams simply because he/she does not have technological devices or internet access. Education is the great equalizer and while that will look different in the near term, a move to distance learning to protect students and teachers can only be effective for all learners if they all are able to actively learn and participate,” said Senator Juan Hinojosa.
“So many of our students across Texas will be starting the school year by continuing their remote education. With all of the challenges that remote learning presents, having adequate access to a computer and reliable internet shouldn’t be one of them. I’m proud to have worked with Governor Abbott, my legislative colleagues, and Commissioner Mike Morath to secure the needed funds to begin the process of bridging this digital divide,” said Representative Giovanni Capriglione.