$100 million allocated from CARES Act to provide internet for Alabama students

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$100 million has been allocated from the CARES Act to be administered from Governor Kay Ivey’s Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to provide internet service for K-12 students.

The program is titled Alabama Broadband Connectivity (or ABC) for Students and will be provided from August until December 31 of this year. ADECA is partnering with CTC Technology & Energy to administer the program.

ABC will give vouchers to the families of students that are eligible for free meals or meals with a reduced price. These vouchers will help to “cover equipment and service costs for high-speed internet service” according to an announcement from the governor’s office.

“Despite the upheavals in our lives during the past few months and at least into the near future, children must be able to continue their classroom instruction,” Ivey said in the announcement. “This funding will expand internet access to allow more students to access distance learning while creating smaller classes in schools that provide those options and will also ensure their safety during the pandemic.”

“While I respect those districts that have elected to use remote learning, I fear that a slide will come by keeping our kids at home. These funds will bridge the gap until all students can get back into the classroom as soon as possible.”

$435.8 million in federal funds has been given to Alabama State Department of Education and local school systems to use for both in-person education and virtual or remote learning.

Families that have children who are eligible for free meals or meals at a reduced price will receive a mailed notification in August as the program launches.

A website for the ABC program has been set up and can be seen here.