Rural School Districts Face Higher Costs For Upgrading Internet Access

Oct 26, 2017

Credit LARS P / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Despite uncertainty about the future of a federal program aimed at helping school districts across the U.S. pay for technology, superintendents across Kansas are moving ahead with the application process for next school year in an effort to keep classroom technology current.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, rural school districts with higher rates of poverty are reimbursed at higher percentages than more affluent districts under the federal E-Rate program, the aim of which is to equalize schools’ Internet access.

Because those schools have the lowest number of students with the highest technology costs, they would potentially be hurt the most if reimbursement rates under the program are decreased.

Kansas lawmakers are aware that for the non-profit EducationSuperHighway to do upgrades at 62 schools in 39 districts across the state that still need it, they will need to come up with a one-time investment of $4 million but it’s unclear at this time where that money will come from.