Broadband access for Wisconsin families remains a critical equity issue, and helping students get internet access where they live is an important goal for closing the homework gap. The homework gap refers to the barrier faced by students to complete homework when they lack access to adequate internet services at home.
Thanks to the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program, households may now be eligible for a significant discount to help pay for broadband, with an enhanced benefit on Tribal lands. Find out if you qualify and enroll by calling the ACP Support Center (877) 384-2575 or by visiting ACPbenefit.org.
The Department of Public Instruction continues to support schools as they work to get students access to the internet and devices they need through initiatives including:
- The Digital Learning Bridge - This allows schools and libraries to purchase discounted hardware and software, as well as bulk subscriptions for discounted internet through a partnership between the DPI and CESA Purchasing.
- The Emergency Connectivity Fund - Schools and libraries use these funds to purchase devices and internet access for students and library patrons.
- DPI provides secure reporting tools in the WISE application suite. These tools allow schools to collect, use, and analyze data about internet and device access for students in their district.
- DPI also provides public reporting tools, including the Digital Equity Public Portal and Digital Equity Mapping Tool, that Wisconsin residents can use to learn more about the state of digital learning equity across the state.
September is Digital Equity Outreach Month. We encourage you to visit the DPI’s Broadband webpage to learn more about these and other digital equity initiatives and to share this information with your community to maximize the impact on improving student results. For questions, please email Rachel Schemelin at Rachel.Schemelin@dpi.wi.gov.
DPI applauds schools and libraries for their commitment to improving digital equity in Wisconsin.
This item was submitted by DPI Technical Writer, Kina Stringfellow and DPI E-Rate and Broadband Consultant, Rachel Schemelin.