January 07, 2020

Manchin Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Improve Broadband Access For Rural Students

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Connected Rural Schools Act to help close the digital disconnect for rural students. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that broadband and other internet accessibility technologies are eligible for funding from the existing Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program.

“This bipartisan legislation would allow a portion of Secure Rural Schools funding to be used to expand broadband access in rural counties across our country. This is an important step towards eliminating the “homework gap” and ensuring every student has access to the Internet when they leave school – whether on a school bus, at a library, or at home,” Senator Manchin said.

The Connected Rural Schools Act adds broadband and other internet accessibility technologies to the list of eligible items on which Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program dollars can be spent. The SRS program provides assistance to rural counties impacted by the decline in revenue from land use activities on federal lands. This legislation is another innovative way to enable federal investment in improving broadband access for rural students. This legislation was also introduced by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and John Boozman (R-AR).