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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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OSPI launches free internet access for Washington students, families

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 1, 2020

In a move that will benefit students in low-income families, the state superintendent’s office has finalized contracts with three internet providers – Comcast, Ziply and Presidio – to provide free access to 60,000 students and their families.

Funded through the federal CARES Act, the program is reserved for those who did not have internet access prior to the beginning of the school year.

To participate in the program, potentially eligible families should receive information from their local school district that includes a special promotional code from a provider.

Families may also contact their district to request information. OSPI is compiling a list with a contact person for this program at each district.

The program is funded by the federal CARES Act. To help with COVID-19- related costs, Congress provided $195 million to Washington’s school districts and $21 million to OSPI for statewide coordination and support.

The $195 million has already been provided to districts to address COVID-related needs.

Of the $21 million provided to OSPI, $8.8 million will support the connectivity initiative.

The other nearly $12 million is being used for educator professional learning and grants to community-based organizations to support students most impacted by the disruption of in-person learning.

Families will sign up with the provider, install the equipment, and then be able to connect to remote learning.

OSPI will also reimburse school districts who have similar agreements in place with internet service providers in their community.

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