The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has yet to spend almost two-thirds of the $104 million Pennsylvania received from the federal CARES Act dedicated to improve internet connectivity, including rural broadband access, for K-12 and college students across Pennsylvania.
The governor does not need legislative authorization to spend this money.
In response, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) is calling on the Wolf administration to rapidly deploy the remaining funding to help provide rural broadband access and ensure those students who are turning to online education either by choice or because their schools are starting with an online model can have better connectivity and receive the educational opportunities to which they are entitled.
“With the first day of school just weeks away, it is well past time for the governor to deploy this remaining funding to do things like improve rural broadband access for the benefit of students across Pennsylvania. For the past two days, the House Education Committee has heard from school leaders about the lack of guidance and remaining questions from the administration as they start the process of reopening their schools. Similarly, school leaders are questioning the failure of the Wolf administration to timely deploy this funding to improve internet connectivity issues, particularly those lacking rural broadband, so appropriate educational opportunities can be provided in this challenging time,” Benninghoff said.
“Without this funding, and the ability to access the educational opportunities offered to them, many children will again suffer the devastating effects of another lost school year and taxpayers will be left to wonder why their hard-earned dollars were not used for the benefit of students and parents.”