Governor Abbott and EducationSuperHighway Announce Milestone in Effort to Improve High-Speed Internet Access Across Texas Schools
EducationSuperHighway today released their annual State of the States report outlining Texas' progress in improving connectivity to high-speed internet in schools. The report highlights that 97 percent of Texas school districts have upgraded to the high-speed internet needed to support digital learning opportunities in the classroom. This progress has been made as a part of Governor Abbott’s Classroom Connectivity Initiative–in partnership with the Texas Education Agency, the Education Service Centers, and EducationSuperHighway to provide access to affordable, high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi for all K–12 public schools in Texas.
“Learning is no longer limited by bricks and mortar – it is being expanded exponentially by bytes and bandwidth,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas has made incredible progress connecting our students with high-speed internet and preparing them to meet future workforce needs, but our work is not yet done. Every child deserves access to quality education, and thanks to technology in the classroom, that opportunity is being made available to all Texas students.”
“The progress that Governor Abbott has made in connecting Texas' classrooms is significant, and we applaud his efforts to continue providing digital learning in every classroom, every day,” said Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO at EducationSuperHighway.
As part of the initiative, the state of Texas allocated $25 million of funding to support school districts with upgrading to scalable fiber infrastructure, which will allow them to keep up with growing bandwidth needs as digital learning becomes increasingly prevalent. This $25 million in state funding will be matched dollar-for-dollar in federal funding – on top of the federal funding districts receive through the FCC's E-rate program – resulting in a $250 million broadband investment across Texas. Over 450 districts stand to benefit from the state’s investment and, pending approval of their projects, 99% of Texas schools will be connected to fiber.
In 2015, only 67 percent of Texas schools had access to high-speed internet. As a result of this initiative, an additional 2.6 million Texas students now have the connectivity needed to take advantage of innovative learning opportunities.