TOPEKA — School districts across the state will have improved access to affordable, high-speed broadband thanks to a partnership between Kansas state agencies and EducationSuperHighway, Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday, Nov. 29.
The new program is called the Kansas Connect and Learn Initiative.
EducationSuperHighway, founded by Evan Marwell in 2012, is a nonprofit organization that focuses on upgrading internet access in every school classroom in America. It will support the state in its mission to increase K-12 connectivity so that public school districts are able to take full advantage of digital learning.
The organization’s team will provide school districts — at no cost — the support, data analysis and technical resources needed to upgrade broadband networks to scalable, cost-effective infrastructure and high-speed bandwidth.
“This partnership will help expand technology in every classroom across the state,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson. “The goal of this initiative is for every child to have the same opportunities when it comes to learning through technology. This is important — especially since the new vision focuses on every child becoming successful.”
This new partnership is supported by Gov. Brownback’s office, the Kansas State Board of Education, the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Administration.
“Ensuring that every classroom in our state has high-speed internet is the first essential step to enabling digital learning and unleashing the potential of our children to compete in the 21st century workforce,” Brownback said.
EducationSuperHighway, governors, school districts, state-level officials, service providers and other partners from across the nation have worked together to add an additional $2.5 billion per year in broadband funding from the Federal Communications Commission, according to EducationSuperHighway. This led to an additional 20 million students getting connected in the past year.
“Modern education is moving online; our students must be there, too,” said Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway. “At EducationSuperHighway, our mission is student connectivity. We want to ensure that every student in America, no matter where he or she lives, has access to high-speed internet, and all the digital learning opportunities that come with it. I commend Governor Brownback, Commissioner Watson, the State Board of Education, and all the Kansas leaders who are involved in this effort for their passion and leadership on this issue. EducationSuperHighway is honored to partner with this great team to ensure all Kansas students are well-equipped for success in the digital age.”
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