Washington State to Connect 60,000 Students to Online Learning

Last spring when Washington’s K–12 schools were closed for in-person learning, school districts across the state pulled together every laptop, tablet, smartphone, and wifi hotspot they could so students were able to continue learning and educators could continue teaching.

This spring, to help with COVID-related costs, Congress allocated $195 million to Washington’s school districts and $21 million to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for statewide coordination and support.

Last week, the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management (OFM) released $8.8 million of OSPI’s share of the funds so OSPI could coordinate and pay for getting students connected to their coursework online.

“With these funds, we will be able to connect up to 60,000 students and their families to online learning,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This was my number one priority for CARES Act funding, and I know this will make a huge difference for a lot of students and their families.

OSPI plans to enter into agreements with private partners to provide internet connectivity to students who are low-income. OSPI will cover the costs of internet for these families through the end of the 2020–21 school year.

“Access to internet is an equity issue, and I intend to use this jump start of one-time federal funds to create a push for universal basic education connectivity,” Reykdal continued. “I am thankful the Legislature and OFM released these funds to us.

Two weeks ago, OFM and the Legislature released $2.5 million for professional development for educators to learn to effectively use and streamline online learning platforms. With the remaining roughly $10 million provided by Congress to OSPI, the agency intends to fund competitive grants for community-based organizations (CBOs) to work in partnership with local school districts to support student learning in the 2020–21 school year.

“We know the pandemic has further exacerbated gaps in access to learning for some of our students,” Reykdal said. “Our system has transformed very rapidly to create a more predictable and effective remote learning experience for students and families this fall. Moments of crisis create opportunities, and our investments in training, connectivity, and community-based partners will make us a stronger public education system when we put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.”

Within the next couple of weeks, school districts will provide instructions and details on internet connectivity to students and families who may be eligible.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Image

Latest

Women's empowerment
Seizing the Narrative: The Transformative Impact of Storytelling on Women’s Empowerment
April 19, 2024

With gender equality becoming a significant global agenda, the narrative around women’s empowerment is more relevant than ever. Amid rising awareness and shifting societal norms, women are increasingly seeking avenues for self-expression and empowerment. A recent study by the Global Gender Gap Report highlights that while progress is being made, substantial efforts are still […]

Read More
V2G technology
Plug into the Future: Decoding V2G for Utility Applications
April 19, 2024

Brian Rudy from Verizon IoT and Melissa Chan of Fermata Energy explore the cutting-edge potential of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Their discussion highlights how this innovation transforms electric vehicles into dynamic energy storage units, capable of stabilizing the grid by storing and discharging power as needed. This technology represents a significant shift […]

Read More
zero trust architecture
Secure Grid Modernization with Zero Trust Architecture
April 19, 2024

Ray Bauer of Verizon Business engages with Del Rodriguez from Palo Alto Networks at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Rodriguez shares insights into the significance of cybersecurity within the utility sector, particularly in light of increasing cyber threats and the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT). Bauer and Rodriguez discuss Palo Alto Networks’ initiatives to enhance […]

Read More
private wireless networks
Private Wireless Networks
April 19, 2024

Verizon host Wayne Weeks discusses the evolving utility industry with John Gaster, CEO of KSI Data Sciences at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Together, they explore how KSI focuses on harnessing data from remote sensing devices to enhance the safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of utility operations. Gaster emphasizes the significant role of AI and machine learning in […]

Read More