AUSTIN, Texas — Several Texas officials announced a large sum of money that will be used to assist Texas schools with e-learning equipment.
Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, Vice Chair Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, and House Appropriations Committee Chair Giovanni Capriglione and Vice Chair Oscar Longoria all made the announcement Friday.
State Representative Abel Herrero highlighted the necessity of the funds in a press release.
“Our children deserve every opportunity to receive a quality education, especially as it becomes increasingly unclear when returning to classrooms will be safe,” Rep. Herrero said. “This funding will go a long way towards ensuring every student has access to the tools they need to learn, while also staying safe at home.”
With the $200 million, the Texas Education Agency will purchase and distribute devices, hotspots, routers, and more, according to a release from Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Office.
"As school districts delay the start of in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19, it is essential that we work to provide Texas students with the devices they need to connect and communicate online for classroom instruction," said Governor Abbott. "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."
This funding, along with a previously announced distribution of up to $400 million to reimburse districts for COVID-19 expenses when the pandemic first hit, will also help reimburse home internet costs incurred by local education agency's from May 21 through September 1.