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March 21, 2022

Rep. Aguilar Announces $18 Million For High-Speed Internet

FCC program created by the American Rescue Plan helps students, schools and libraries

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — Rep. Pete Aguilar today announced $18,189,231 in funding to improve access to high-speed internet through schools and libraries across the Inland Empire.

The new funding, from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF), was created in March of 2021 by the American Rescue Plan, landmark legislation that delivered more than 200 million vaccines across the country and critical resources to safely reopen schools, help for small businesses to stay open and funding for public safety and commuter rail and bus service. The $7.17 billion ECF program will help cover costs of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff and library patrons.

“High-speed internet is a necessity, not a luxury,” Rep. Aguilar said. “No one should fall behind in school or miss out on learning because they can’t connect to the internet. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are expanding high-speed internet and supporting students and families.”

The Inland Empire schools and libraries receiving ECF funding include:

  • Central School District: $1,849,846.78
  • Colton Joint Unified School District: $1,674,600.00
  • Etiwanda Elementary School District: $532,358.05
  • Real Journey Academies: $129,300.00
  • Rialto Unified School District: $7,098,028.79
  • San Bernardino City Unified School District: $6,905,098.09

“Students today cannot be competitive in the workforce of tomorrow with part-time access to technology. This ECF funding will help create equity in our community and opportunity for kids to learn at home as well as in school,” said Mr. Doc Ervin, Superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. “We applaud Congress for lengthening the bridge we are building over the digital divide in our region with this investment in our children and families.”

“I would like to thank Congressman Aguilar for his tireless support of Inland Empire students,” said Dr. Frank Miranda, Superintendent of the Colton Joint Unified School District. “This funding from the American Rescue Plan and the FCC will further strengthen the home-to-school connection by increasing availability of technology and access to high-speed internet for all students. Access to reliable technology, connectivity, and devices helps address equity in the education environment by granting all students equal access and enriches the learning environment to include resources outside of the classroom.” 

“In the Rialto Unified School District, we make decisions in the best interest of students and therefore greatly applaud Congressman Pete Aguilar for championing local K-12 learning through technology support. Thank you for funding quality technology devices for our students during a challenging time, when there is much need,” said Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila, Superintendent of the Rialto Unified School District. “Through this grant, the District will continue to invest in students towards ensuring that learning can thrive in the classroom or in a home environment.”

Rep. Aguilar serves as the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the committee responsible for funding federal programs and agencies.