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Legislation seeks to expand broadband access for low-income students

The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in an effort to expand broadband internet access to low-income students across the commonwealth.

Senate Bill 1225, proposed by Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), authorizes school boards to appropriate funds to partner with private companies for the purpose of implementing and subsidizing broadband internet access for low-income and at-risk students.

“Distance learning during the pandemic has left these students struggling not just with homework but with classwork and lessons as well,” Boysko said before a House panel.

The reduced rate broadband would be eligible for students who qualify for child nutrition programs and other programs that are recognized by the school board as a measure to identify at-risk students. That means programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such as the schools’ breakfast, lunch and after-school snack programs.

These broadband programs already exist, but Boysko said the bill cl...

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