Stock photo

Stock photo

K–12 state internet access program allows more students to learn from home

Students from low-income families can connect online at no cost to them

In mid-August, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced a new program to connect students to their online learning from home.

This week, OSPI finalized contracts with three internet service providers—Ziply, Presidio, and Comcast—to provide the service to up to 60,000 students and their families through the end of the 2020–21 school year at no cost to the family, according to a OSPI news release. The program is reserved for students who are low-income and did not have internet access before August 2020.

To participate in the program, potentially eligible families should receive information, including a promo/offer code from a provider, from their local school district. Families may also contact their district to request information. OSPI is compiling a list with a contact person for this program at each district.

Families will sign up with the provider, install the equipment and then be able to connect to remote learning.

OSPI will also reimburse school districts who have similar agreements in place with internet service providers in their community.

The funding for the program comes from the federal CARES Act. To help with COVID-related costs, Congress provided $195 million to Washington’s school districts and $21 million to OSPI for statewide coordination and support. The $195 million has already been provided to districts to address COVID-related needs.

Of the $21 million provided to OSPI, $8.8 million will support this connectivity initiative. The other nearly $12 million is being used for educator professional learning as well as grants to community-based organizations to support students most impacted by the disruption of in-person learning.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Stock photo
New state modeling report explores options for safer return to in-person learning

Explores how to minimize COVID-19 introductions in schools

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

An Island Park Elementary teacher and her students hit the books on Feb. 8 in the Mercer Island School District. The single largest amount of Gov. Jay Inslee’s newly announce relief package, $668 million, will go to public elementary and secondary schools to prepare for reopening for some in-person learning and to address students’ learning loss. Courtesy photo
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

Most Read