ConnectED NY encourages all local education agencies to apply to the Emergency Connectivity Fund by August 13, 2021. The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF) will reimburse schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and broadband connections used to help students, staff, and patrons who otherwise lack access to be able to engage in remote learning. The program is administered by USAC with oversight from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
As ECF awards are announced, ConnectED NY will make funds available to address remaining unmet needs. The ConnectED NY application will open for districts unable to apply for ECF funding after Monday, August 16. We will provide additional information on the program structure and support for school districts wishing to participate at that time.
The ConnectED NY program, from Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation in partnership with New York State, is providing hotspots and data plans and arranging fixed internet service for students in the most economically disadvantaged school districts. Managed by Digital Promise, ConnectED NY is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
School districts where the percent of students that are economically disadvantaged exceeds the state average are eligible for this program. In case of limited funding, ConnectED NY reserves the right to prioritize funding for the most economically disadvantaged districts over districts with lower rates of economic disadvantage (NYC will be capped at 40 percent of the total statewide award). List of eligible districts in priority order.
ConnectED NY is intended to fill gaps in access and not intended to supplant existing contracts with internet providers. Districts will be required to provide details on how student need is determined. Participation will be capped at 10% of total student enrollment in the district. Districts that received funding through ConnectED NY in Spring 2021 may apply again, if they have additional students with unmet need (up to 10% of total enrollment).
NEW SHIPPING PROCESS: To expedite access, all data-enabled AT&T hotspots will be delivered to school districts for distribution (not to student homes).
For districts with limited mobile internet access, or other extenuating circumstances, ConnectED NY will seek to support fixed internet service. Please indicate your district’s needs in the interest form, when it becomes available.