The Homework Gap: COVID 19 & Beyond
SETDA is urging federal policymakers to expand home internet access for teachers and students. It is important to remember that equitable access to high-speed broadband is the foundation upon which today’s schools create enhanced and empowering digital learning experiences and is currently the only way they have access to schools, teachers and classmates.
Emergency Educational Connections Act of 2020: On April 21, 2020, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee that funds federal programs and agencies, introduced this bill to ensure that students have internet access during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic emergency. The Congresswoman’s legislation would create a special $2 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to disburse funds to schools and libraries, and Tribal schools and libraries, to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-connected devices for students and patrons.
- Press Release: Senators Markey, Schumer, Cantwell, Van Hollen, Bennet, Hassan, Schatz Lead Colleagues on Legislation to Ensure All Students Have Access to Internet During Coronavirus Pandemic
- SETDA Press Release: SETDA & CoSN Support Latest Action on the Hill to Close the ‘Homework Gap’ During the COVID-19 Crisis
Outreach Needed: SETDA encourages educators, students and families to advocate for funding dedicated to supporting student broadband access at home to help ensure equitable learning opportunities for all learners. Below are resources to support advocacy efforts.
SETDA Legislative Outreach: SETDA collaboratives with over 50 national education organizations via Edlinc’s Homework Gap Working Group and meets with Congressional staffers regarding potential funding opportunities to support off campus access. In addition, SETDA’s E-rate Special Interest Group is providing suggested guidance to the FCC regarding how this funding might be implemented efficiently and effectively.
- E-rate Program Flexibility