Hofmeister Continues Call For Funds To Bridge Student Digital Divide

May 1, 2020

Shortly after U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged Governor Kevin Stitt to spend federal relief funds on private school vouchers, Oklahoma’s top education official touted a different idea.

In a five-page letter, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister urges the governor to use grant funding to provide students who don’t have home internet with better access. The letter, obtained via a records request, makes no mention of private school scholarships.

Almost a quarter of Oklahoma students don’t have home internet — a problem magnified by the pivot made by the state’s schools to distance learning because of coronavirus. Hofmeister wrote that because of potential coronavirus issues now and into the future, students need better access to the internet.

The governor will receive almost $40 million to distribute via block grants for education from the Cares Act, and how it’s doled out is entirely up to him.

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