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Education

Delaware schools receive millions in federal funding for connectivity

brandywine_high_school.jpg
Rebecca Baer
/
Delaware Public Media
Brandywine High School

Some of Delaware’s school districts are receiving funds from the FCC to help with remote learning.

The Federal Communications Commission committed over two and a half billion dollars to schools and libraries across the county to address students’ online learning needs

Six school districts and three schools in Delaware have received a total of $6.8 million in funding, which will go towards helping students access online learning platforms.

In the Brandywine School District, Superintendent Lincoln Hohler says the $2.6 million it received will help bring more devices to students.

“So it definitely is gonna be extra work for the district in terms of deployment, tracking, the whole ball of wax,” Hohler says. “But we know there’s still a need for devices out in our community in certain families. And if we can help satisfy that need through this federal funding, we wanted to take advantage of that.”

Hohler says while most students are learning in person again, they still take part in blended learning, where some assignments are done remotely at home.

The New Castle County Vo-Tech district received over $750 thousand for upgrades.

“With the Coronavirus there’s just been a lot more technology involved in instruction,” Says New Castle County Vo-Tech’s Director of Business Sean Sokolowski. “So we have students that need access to technology at home as well as at school — as well as teachers that need up to date technology so that they can provide meaningful instruction to their students.”

He adds that beyond laptops for students and teachers, the money will help fund around 600 mobile hotspots the district can lend out to students having trouble getting online at home.

But the process for obtaining all the devices and figuring out who to give them to could take a while. Sokolowski and other school districts say issues in the global supply chain could hamper the time it takes to get everything delivered.

All schools in Delaware that received funding:

  • New Castle County Vo-Tech: $770,600
  • Red Clay School District: $17,700
  • Newark Center for Creative Learning: $8,800
  • Saint Annes Episcopal School: $44,859
  • Smyrna School District: $910,000
  • Capital School District: $995,250
  • Appoquinimink School District: $1,329,970
  • Brandywine School District: $2,658,903.08
  • St. Elizabeth High School: $35,425

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.