As part of its efforts to close the digital divide, the Department of Education is partnering with Civic Nation to launch its Online for All campaign, which will focus on internet access, affordability, and equity for students, families, and all Americans.
In a press release, the Department of Education said that more than 300 local and national organizations have joined in on the Online for All campaign. The campaign is starting off with a Week of Action that is intended to bring together the Federal government and partner organizations to raise awareness about the program and help eligible families sign up.
“No student should have to travel to a library, coffeeshop, or parking lot to get connected to the internet to do their homework or complete their college applications, and yet that is still the reality for too many students,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “It is vital that our students and their families have access to quality, reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to stay connected and engaged with their schools and each other. The ‘Online for All’ campaign will help meet that need for so many.”
Funding to help students and their families afford internet access comes from Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP program, created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households, and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
During the Week of Action, the Department of Education will focus on rallying educators and advocates from the National Education Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, American Federation of Teachers, and more to ensure their schools’ students and families know about the Affordable Connectivity Program and the benefits available to them.
The Week of Action features hundreds of events, including:
- S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will headline a virtual event on June 20 with educators alongside the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Association of Education (NEA), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to provide them with the tools they need to educate families on this opportunity and keep students connected over the summer;
- Boston, Mass.-based Link Health led the Healthcare Day of Action on Friday, June 16, with an event featuring a Veterans Affairs National Social Work Program Special Projects Coordinator at the South End Community Health Center in Boston;
- The Department of Education will notify more than five million Pell Grant recipients of their eligibility for the program, and that they can enroll without eligibility documentation; and
- Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten will send a message about the Affordable Connectivity Program to 84,000 school principals, vice principals, and tech coordinators across the country.