Two federal options have been announced to potentially benefit Illinois districts in expanding devices and home connectivity options for students. To assist in outlining forms and additional information, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) is providing free, useful webinars, workshops, and support.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) was designed to provide a $50 discount on home connectivity costs for those who are eligible for the funding. One of the qualifiers for this discount is the National School Lunch program. This means any student who qualifies for the free or reduced lunch program in your district could apply and ask for a discount on their internet access charges.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)
The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is designed specifically for schools and libraries to address the need for additional devices and home connectivity that would outfit students for remote learning and the homework gap. The application process leverages the current E-Rate process and allows districts to file for devices and services on behalf of students and staff to respond to this unmet need. The funding can also be leveraged to address connectivity for school busses and community programs that serve multiple students. The funding window is now open through August 13, 2021. Interested schools and libraries can now apply for devices and services purchased between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
ILTPP is an initiative of the Learning Technology Center (LTC) and contributes to the LTC’s mission of building statewide capacity for educational change through technology-related professional learning, programs, initiatives, and support.