Americans Ask Congress to Support Remote Learning Initiative Amid Pandemic

  • Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition

WASHINGTON — 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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