Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Study Shows Texas Continues To Make Major Progress In Bringing High-Speed Internet To More Schools And Students

Tuesday, January 17, 2017  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release
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EducationSuperHighway’s Second Annual “State of the States” Report Finds 83 Percent of Texas School Districts Now Meet Minimum Connectivity Goal; Up from 67 Percent in 2015

Since launching the Texas Classroom Connectivity Initiative, Texas has made significant progress in its ongoing effort to expand access to high-speed Internet in public schools statewide, according to EducationSuperHighway’s annual “State of the States” on K-12 broadband connectivity. EducationSuperHighway is the leading national non-profit focused on upgrading the Internet access in every public school classroom in America.

This year’s report, issued today, finds that:

  • 83 percent of Texas school districts meet the minimum connectivity goal of 100 kbps per student, a significant jump from 67 percent at this time last year.
  • 1.6 million Texas students gained access to more bandwidth in their classrooms.
  • 382 Texas school districts upgraded their networks in 2016.

“Last year, in partnership with EducationSuperHighway, I joined with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath to announce the Texas Classroom Connectivity Initiative to expand the reach of high-speed Internet in Texas schools and connect our students to the opportunities of the modern educational world,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Today’s report is a testament to the progress we have made and highlights that - in less than a year - this initiative has provided an additional 1.6 million Texas students with access to more bandwidth and Internet connectivity.

“However, there is more work to be done,” Governor Abbott continued. “I look forward to building on the success of this past year and expanding this initiative in an effort to connect all of our students to the broadband Internet access they need to succeed and the educational opportunities they deserve.”

Governor Abbott and Commissioner Morath have further demonstrated their commitment to school connectivity by requesting $25 million in the Texas Education Agency’s 2018-19 Legislative Appropriations Request for a state matching fund that will leverage $225 million in federal dollars to allow for the construction of fiber to some of the hardest-to-reach schools.

Speaking about the new report, Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway, noted, “I commend Governor Abbott and Commissioner Morath for their leadership in this effort to get high-speed Internet to more Texas students and schools. Since we launched the Classroom Connectivity Initiative, we’ve seen progress all across the state. The access to more bandwidth - now enjoyed by over 1.6 million Texas students - is proof positive of that. Our mission at EducationSuperHighway is student connectivity. Clearly, the governor and Commissioner share that mission and are equally committed to it. We look forward to continuing our work in Texas to get even more students online at the fastest speeds possible, so they can learn without limits. ”

The full “2016 State of the States” report including complete data for Texas can be found at http://stateofthestates.educationsuperhighway.org/.