Texas Education Agency receives $200M in CARES Act funds for e-learning devices, internet connectivity solutions

According to a July 17 news release from Gov. Greg Abbott, the funding will allow the Texas Education Agency to purchase and distribute devices, hot spots and routers, among other technological needs as identified by local education agencies. (Courtesy Fotolia)
According to a July 17 news release from Gov. Greg Abbott, the funding will allow the Texas Education Agency to purchase and distribute devices, hot spots and routers, among other technological needs as identified by local education agencies. (Courtesy Fotolia)

According to a July 17 news release from Gov. Greg Abbott, the funding will allow the Texas Education Agency to purchase and distribute devices, hot spots and routers, among other technological needs as identified by local education agencies. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The Texas Education Agency will receive $200 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding for the purchase of e-learning devices and home internet solutions to enable remote learning for students who lack connectivity in the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

According to a July 17 news release from Gov. Greg Abbott, the funding will allow the TEA to purchase and distribute devices, hot spots and routers, among other technological needs as identified by local education agencies. The funds will be used to establish a reimbursement program with a matching fund component tied to locally controlled coronavirus relief funds, the release states.


"As school districts delay the start of in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19, it is essential that we work to provide Texas students with the devices that they need to connect and communicate online for classroom instruction," Abbott said in a statement. "As we continue to combat COVID-19 in Texas, we are committed to providing reliable and effective solutions that will help students academically succeed while protecting public health."

The funding allocation announcement comes the same day TEA Commissioner Mike Morath announced additional guidance allowing Texas school districts to offer up to eight weeks of online-only classes at the onset of the 2020-21 school year. The state previously allocated $400 million in coronavirus relief funding to reimburse school districts for COVID-19 expenses incurred during the 2019-20 school year. This initial funding also established a reimbursement program for devices and home internet costs incurred by local education agencies between May 21-Sept. 1.

"While getting our students back to school is our top priority, many local districts are also developing a variety of virtual learning plans to ensure that students do not lose valuable learning time as we continue to fight COVID-19," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement. "This funding is an essential step to closing the digital gap for students by making access to technology available to every child who needs it."
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.



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