Partnering with Information Technology Centers to provide students with reliable internet[COLUMBUS, OHIO—] The Management Council is pleased to announce on behalf of Ohio’s Information Technology Centers (ITCs) that 11 school districts have been awarded over $1.4M in grant funding to expand internet to underserved students. Working in close partnership with BroadbandOhio and community partners, ITCs will help these districts provide internet service to approximately 3,650 student homes.
Many PreK-12 Ohio students experience unreliable or non-existent internet; this has been particularly debilitating for students during this COVID year. ACCESS is connecting United Local student homes to internet services beyond the school grounds. Lockland Schools through HCC are working to expand home broadband services to students in those districts. Students from Monroe Local School District, Lakota Local School District, Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, and Amanda Elementary School in Middletown will benefit from expanded internet, assisted by SWOCA.
While students are the biggest benefactors, communities also benefit. MVECA and Yellow Springs Schools will deliver fiber services to students and businesses in the Village of Yellow Springs. OME-RESA will assist the students and businesses of Noble Local Schools and East Guernsey with broadband with cross-coverage collaboration from Coshocton City Schools and Ridgewood Local Schools.
The Management Council’s RemotEDx Connectivity Champions helped ITCs pinpoint these 11 districts for assistance obtaining internet service. Connectivity Champions have been helping underserved students and their families obtain home broadband services since October 2020.
“Information Technology Centers are thinking creatively to provide home internet access to some of the most underserved areas of the state, even using paint-on fiber in one area. The DeWine-Husted administration and BroadbandOhio have been entrepreneurial in leveraging federal funds to make this happen,” noted Geoff Andrews, Chief Executive Officer of the Management Council. “Congratulations to BroadbandOhio, school districts, ITCs, Connectivity Champions, and valued partners working to make reliable home internet a reality for so many Ohioans.”
Ohio’s Information Technology Centers (ITCs) work together through a statewide network known as the Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN). The Management Council represents and coordinates the collaborative efforts of the OECN, which implements a broad spectrum of academic and administrative technologies across Ohio’s PreK-12 education system.