Ellington, Borders: Area schools receive $1M to boost remote learning resources

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Monday, August 31, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 31, 2020) – Area schools recently received more than $1 million in grants to invest in remote learning equipment and internet connectivity, according to State Reps. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) and Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville).

Ellington said schools statewide received a total of $61 million through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, which was created by the federal CARES Act. Funding will help increase device access, internet connectivity, and educator training and development.

"While virtual learning can't fully replace classroom and hands-on experiences, it can be a viable option to ensure the safety of our students and educators during this uncertain time," Ellington said. "These grants address some of the challenges our schools are working through as they start the new academic year."

Eastern Greene Schools, White River Valley School District, MSD of Shakamak, Bloomfield School District and the Linton-Stockton School Corp. received a combined $1,072,691.

Additionally, Eastern Greene Schools will benefit from a $3,375,000 grant awarded to the University of Indianapolis and regional education centers, which partnered with 24 traditional school corporations and 8 non-public schools.

According to Borders, the GEER funding supports traditional public schools, public charter schools, accredited non-public schools, higher education institutions and other education-related entities throughout the state.

"It's essential that Hoosier children who are learning from home have the resources they need to continue their education without interruption," Borders said. "That's why this funding is so important in helping ensure our students aren't falling behind academically."

The funding goes toward purchasing devices like Chromebooks and iPads for students, new or upgraded laptops and tablets for teachers, and mobile WiFi devices with subscription plans for households needing internet service.

A grant application could be completed by a single school corporation or a combination of eligible education entities. The 257 applications received were evaluated by a team from the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana State Board of Education.

A full list of grant recipients is available here, and the governor's official announcement is here.

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State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) represents House District 62, which includes
portions of Greene, Monroe, Martin and Daviess counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) represents House District 45, which includes
all of Sullivan County and portions of Vigo, Greene, Knox and Daviess counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.