(WKBN) – Schools can soon begin applying for grants to provide hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students in need, Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced Friday.
A total of $50 million will be allocated through the new BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant.
Schools can begin applying for this grant opportunity at https://ohio-k12.help/broadbandohio-connectivity-grant/. The public website is live, however, schools will not be able to apply until Monday.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many school districts have opted to begin online-only or blended learning for the school district. As a result, districts have been trying to get all students equipped with internet devices.
After hearing feedback from various groups that the matching grant requirement would create a barrier for districts, it has been removed from the program. Many school districts have already begun to make purchases for the upcoming school year, and as a result, purchases made since July 1 of this year are eligible for support from this program.
The application period will close Friday, August 21.
In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Education will begin notifying district superintendents and school leaders around the state to make them aware of this program.
To help schools make the best purchasing decisions based on their needs, internet providers have begun to list their equipment and pricing information in one centralized location to the benefit of Ohio schools through a Request for Information. Visit procure.ohio.gov to review the RFI.