The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made further funding moves to help close the “homework gap” by committing nearly $68 million in two new funding rounds through the Emergency Connectivity Program (ECP).
The ECP provides digital services for students in communities across the country. The most recent funding supports over 100,000 students across the country, including California, Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
“As we inch closer to the start of another school year, the Homework Gap remains a real concern for far too many students who lack internet access after the school day ends,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement. “We’re working hard to fix this and support students as they prepare to return to the classroom in the coming weeks and this latest round of funding will help us do just that.”
The FCC has committed over $5.7 billion to schools and libraries across the country as part of the funding program, which was launched last year. The funding can be used to support off-campus learning – whether it be homework or remote schooling – to ensure students across the country have the necessary support to keep up with their education.
To date, the program has supported approximately 10,000 schools, 900 libraries, and 100 consortia, and provided nearly 12 million connected devices and over 7 million broadband connections.
This round of funding includes over $24 million from the first and second application windows providing support in the upcoming school year for one school, three libraries, and one consortium. For the third application window, the agency plans to commit nearly $44 million that will support over 200 schools, seven libraries, and one consortium.