Funding Available to Help Schools with Limited Internet Connections

September 2014

The California Department of Education (“CDE”) has announced that districts and charter schools may apply for funds to help them connect to a high-speed Internet network under the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (“BIIG”) Program.  Funds will be available in time for next spring’s new online assessments.

According to a CDE press release, the BIIG funding opportunity is being administered by the K-12 High Speed Network, in consultation with the CDE and the State Board of Education.  “The goal is to help students, educators and staff connect to a reliable high-speed network so they can implement the new computer-based California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments in the 2015 spring testing window,” the CDE stated.  Funding is provided by a one-time Proposition 98 General Fund re-appropriation to support network connectivity.

All public school districts, county offices of education and direct-funded charter schools that are unable to administer the computer-based assessments due to very low Internet capacity are eligible to apply for funding.  First priority will be given to schools that are unable to improve their Internet connection due to certain conditions, such as lack of broadband infrastructure, location in a hard-to-serve area or limited options from service providers.

Details on applying for funding may be found on the BIIG Program website here.  Note that a Self-Nomination / Site Information form, which is available here, needs to be completed for each site seeking grant funds before September 30, 2014.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact one of our six offices.

F3 NewsFlash prepared by Gretchen M. Shipley and John W. Norlin.
Gretchen is a partner in the F3 San Diego office.
John is Special Counsel in the F3 San Diego office.

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