SCHENECTADY – The City School District is set to receive more than $1.3 million during the first round of federal funding doled out to help expand and improve internet access for students and teachers.
“This is a huge help and we are very grateful for the funding,” district spokeswoman Karen Corona said of Schenectady’s $1,382,500 award. “It will be used to provide internet access in the homes of students who currently don’t have access. It also serves as a safety net in that we will be positioned to respond and provide access to those whose situation changes during the school year.”
Congressman Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, announced Monday that Schenectady was one of nearly 20 schools across the Capital Region to receive a total of $6,015,990.
The money is administered by the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, established under the Tonko-backed American Rescue Plan to help schools and libraries update services for remote learning during the pandemic.
“Throughout this COVID-19 crisis we have heard about the hardships millions of Americans are facing without access to broadband,” Tonko said in a statement. “We have heard from students unable to connect to their classes and submit assignments, and from educators who have to drive to parking lots with public Wi-Fi and teach from their cars.”
Mohanasen Central School District in Schenectady is expected to receive $449,314, Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park will get $342,764, while Scotia-Glenville Central School District’s award is $299,424.
This announcement is part of the first tranche of funding delivered under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program to provide students, school staff and library patrons in all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-campus education needs.
The first round of funding will deliver more than $1.2 billion to schools and libraries that serve more than 3.6 million students.
Applications for a second round of funding will open from Sept. 28 through Oct. 13. It will provide funding for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
The funding is available for the purchase of laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons in need, and is available to support off-campus learning, such as homework and virtual learning as schools continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.