Thousands of Hoosier school students, their teachers, and hundreds of Indiana schools are getting help in dealing with remote learning thanks to a $61 million grant program funded by the federal CARES Act.
Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday announced the recipients of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. The money is designed to improve Internet connectivity and increase the number of devices, such as laptop computers and iPads, available to students and teachers.
When schools were forced to close in the spring because of the pandemic, it illustrated a shortcoming of reliable internet service and other technology for many Hoosier families.
“Indiana’s students, parents and teachers have worked hard to adapt to the challenges COVID-19 has brought to education,” said Governor Holcomb.
The governor’s office said the grants will help a minimum of 68,689 student devices, nearly 2,900 teacher devices, and more than 85,800 connectivity solutions.
Based on applications from schools and school corporations, administrators needed money to help purchase student Chromebooks and iPads, new laptops and MacBooks for teachers, and mobile hotspots with subscription plans for families who lack reliable internet connectivity.
“Some families will now worry less about internet connectivity, more students will have access to the technology needed at home, and more educators will have the necessary devices to teach remotely,” said Holcomb.
The state said grant awardees include 184 traditional school corporations which represent 1,366 schools. Funding was awarded to 64 public charter schools and 124 non-public schools.
The applications were evaluated by a team from the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the Indiana State Board of Education.
A $11 million portion of the $61 million GEER funding will go to 12 universities and colleges in the state to create training programs for educators and parents who face additional challenges in remote teaching.
Grant recipients were announced during Governor Holcomb’s weekly COVID-19 news conference. Watch the full briefing in the video below.