Dear School and Library Leaders:
The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) will provide internet access and laptop computers for K-12 students and library patrons across the country. The ECF offers financial support for your budgets, helping bridge the divide that exists between students who have internet and those who don’t. But the funds are only available to those who apply by the deadline on August 13, 2021. Schools and libraries must move quickly to realize this opportunity. Community leaders are urged to take immediate steps to secure these limited resources. No child’s future should be determined by the strength of a Wi-Fi signal.
Students spent much of the last year in isolation, separated from their teachers and classmates because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as classrooms reopen, teachers look forward to reengaging with students and making up for lost time. New and improved online resources are poised to support instruction through remote learning and cloud-based homework assignments; however, insufficient internet access threatens to disrupt this opportunity. Online tools only help students who have strong Wi-Fi and a good functioning laptop. Without access, the potential for online education drops to zero, and with it, the hopes of millions of students and their families.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund, available through the Federal Communications Commission, provides schools and libraries a way to support students. It offers more than $7 billion to close the digital gaps that exist in homes and neighborhoods. Applying for the ECF will bring new and improved devices and connections to millions of children and lifelong learners.
By applying for this financial aid, you will help deliver consistent and reliable internet access to students; and by doing so, you will elevate the opportunities for every student. Applying for the ECF will support your budget; it will allow other resources to be redeployed to address additional needs; it will document the connectivity needs that exist; and it will demonstrate that you are committed to doing everything that you can do to restore hope and rebuild opportunities in your community.
Please apply for the Emergency Connectivity Fund. The time is now. Together, we can transform millions of lives for the better.
John D. Harrington
Chief Executive Officer
Funds For Learning