Over 1,900 Americans Ask Congress to Support Remote Learning Initiative Amid Pandemic
June 11, 2020


 

For Immediate Release

CONTACTS:
Alicja Johnson, SHLB Coalition: ajohnson@shlb.org / 571-327-4592
Kelsea Kierstead, Funds For Learning: kelsea@cblohm.com / 608-216-7300 ext. 24
Debra Kriete, SECA: dmkriete@comcast.net / 717-232-0222

Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2020) - Today approximately 1,900 individuals and organizations wrote to Congress endorsing draft legislation to connect students and library patrons at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The draft proposal, the “Remote Learning During COVID-19 Act,” would appropriate $5.25 billion to an emergency fund to connect the millions of families who don’t have internet at home.

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance (SECA), and Funds For Learning (FFL) drafted the proposal based on a needs analysis, which found that 7.15 million families do not have home internet access. Furthermore, the analysis determined that $5.25 billion is needed to close this education gap.

SHLB, SECA, and FFL made the following statement:

“The coronavirus pandemic has upended education as we know it, and has created a ‘new normal’ that won’t end anytime soon. All indications are that schools intend to continue remote online learning, either in full or in part through a hybrid model, to safeguard the health of students. Most parents agree, as six in 10 say that they are likely to continue home learning instead of sending their children back to school in the fall.

“Yet millions of students without home broadband access are unable to participate effectively in remote online learning.  We must not let these children become trapped in a learning gap. The legislation we have drafted will prevent that from happening and will remove the barriers standing in the way of ensuring that all students and library patrons have broadband Internet at home. We are hopeful that the endorsement from over 1,900 signatories, 1,600 of whom are educators, will persuade Congress to introduce and pass the ‘Remote Learning During COVID-19 Act.’”

To learn more about students’ and library patrons’ need for broadband at home, visit the following resources:

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About SHLB:
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.

About SECA:
SECA members provide E-rate coordination services in 45 states and 1 U.S. Territory. State Coordinators have daily interactions with and provide training to E-rate applicants to assist them with all aspects of the program. State coordinators serve as intermediaries between the applicant and service provider communities, the E-rate Administrator, and the Federal Communications Commission.  SECA regularly communicates with the E-rate program administrator, the Federal Communications Commission) and other federal and state policy makers regarding the operation and administration of the E-rate program to convey recommendations and feedback to fulfill the goals of the program. www.secaerate.net

About FFL:
Funds For Learning (FFL) is a compliance firm that specializes in the federal E-rate funding program for schools and libraries. FFL supports E-rate stakeholders in all fifty states, helping them navigate the application process to receive support for Internet access and Wi-Fi connectivity. www.fundsforlearning.com



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