You, your students, and their families faced many challenges this past year—from food service to transportation to internet connectivity. Hopefully, when the new school year starts, most things will be back to normal; however, internet connectivity will continue to be a challenge for many students and their families.
As advocates for viable internet, the Ohio RemotEDx Connectivity Champions worked tirelessly with families over the last year. They identified one of the leading challenges for families lacking internet connectivity—cost. Successful remote learning relies on adequate bandwidth, and the need for increased internet data put a financial strain on families struggling to connect.
To help families overcome this financial burden, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a discount up to $50 per month on internet service for those households that qualify. A household qualifies when one student is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including those students that qualify through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
To make an impact on students and their families, they need to be aware of the program. The U.S. Department of Education has created sample Consent and FRPL Verification letters to use with your families for the 2021-2022 school year that include information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The RemotEDx Connectivity Champions information is also on the letters to assist families with the application and signup process. Both letters can be found on the Connectivity Champions support portal.
If you or your families have questions about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ohio’s RemotEDx Connectivity Champions by webform at https://www.ohio-k12.help/remotedx, by email or text at email@example.com, and by phone at 844-K12-OHIO (844-512-6446), option 2.