The Ely Times
U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced the Connected Rural Schools Act to help close the digital disconnect for rural students. The legislation will ensure that broadband and other internet accessibility technologies are eligible for funding from the existing Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program.
“Nevada’s rural communities are full of bright and eager students who need reliable internet access to reach their full educational potential. This legislation will help ensure that even students who live in the Silver State’s most remote counties can access the 21st century technology and resources they need to thrive,” said Cortez Masto.
The Connected Rural Schools Act adds broadband and other internet accessibility technologies to the list of eligible items on which Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program dollars can be spent. The SRS program provides assistance to rural counties impacted by the decline in revenue from land use activities on federal lands.
This legislation is another innovative way to enable federal investment in improving broadband access for rural students. Senators Cortez Masto and Romney have previously called on Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.
“I’m proud to introduce this legislation to direct federal funding to projects that will improve rural broadband and school connectivity. I’ll continue to fight to secure meaningful investments in Nevada’s young people, no matter their zip code.” Masto
“In many rural communities in our state, students don’t have access to broadband internet at school, effectively preventing them access to the resources they use to learn and succeed,” Romeny said. “Our legislation will amend current law to enhance access to broadband communications in rural parts of our state that are currently underserved.”
Boozman explains how connectivity has become an integral part of everyday lives and lack of access to broadband puts rural America in danger of falling behind the curve. “Having the ability to get online at school is as essential as having modern textbooks and ample supplies. I am pleased to join with my colleagues to introduce this bill that will help ensure that children in our rural communities have the same opportunities as their peers in urban and suburban schools.”