Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction received a special fund allocation today from the Common School Fund to assist Wisconsin students in accessing digital resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The money is additional library aid totaling $5.25 million to help meet the immediate distance learning needs of Wisconsin students and teachers. The funds will be disbursed to Wisconsin’s public schools by May 1, 2020.
Chaired by State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands approved the special distribution to support families with the continuation of learning because of the ongoing public health emergency. The money will enable school librarians to purchase high-quality online resources to support inquiry and research, e-books, and mobile access devices, such as hotspots.
“These special funds offer immediate assistance to Wisconsin students during this unprecedented time,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “This aid, along with the annual Common School Fund allocation, directly addresses Wisconsin’s digital divide and will help meet students’ remote learning needs.”
The $5.25 million distribution is in addition to the planned $38.2 million in 2020 Common School Fund library aid, a record amount of funding used to purchase books, instructional materials, and computers supporting library programming.
“Wisconsin kids deserve the ability to learn despite the barriers created by COVID-19,” Godlewski said. “As a product of public schools myself, I’m proud as the chair of the Common School Fund that we are able to step up and make this special distribution to support distance learning needs.”