New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced his roughly $115 million plan Thursday to close the digital divide for all students in the state as remote learning remains part of the experience for students in the fall due to the pandemic.
This effort will include providing devices and increasing connectivity for all public school students.
“Today I am honored to be with these leaders to announce the steps we're going to take to close the digital divide, to eliminate this disadvantage, and to ensure every student not most, but every, has the same opportunity to learn, whether it be in person or online,” Murphy said. “This is a cost we cannot ignore in light of the current fiscal reality by pushing it off to another year. We must address this.”
New Jersey will need to raise approximately $54 million. The remainder will be paid through the federal money from Congress through the Cares Act and Title One federal funding awards.
More details: In order to raise the money within the state, Murphy announced all philanthropy avenues will be exhausted, the Department of Education will offer a one-time $10 million formula grant, and his administration will redirect Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) funds to close any remaining gap.
Murphy and New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet had previously announced the state's plans to reopen schools for in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, absent a change to the current public health data statewide.