State extends free internet voucher program for students

Free internet voucher program extended

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Help for low-income families with students doing online learning has come just in time. Gov. Kay Ivey announced this week an extension of the free internet voucher program. The funding for the program was set to expire Wednesday, but now students enrolled won’t have any service interruptions with online learning.

Students across the state enrolled in the internet voucher program can keep logging on for school for free through June 30. The program was set to expire December 30, but money from the recently signed COVID-19 relief package keeps it in place until the summer.

“There were some delayed starts to the school year. Some have to go beyond the traditional last day of school. This goes through the end of June, so they should have this through the end of the school year,” said Maureen Neighbors, ADECA Energy Division Chief.

The extension is helpful as districts like Jefferson County Schools announced it’ll start 2021 with a remote learning period.

The program includes approximately 200,000 students statewide, which is about 60 percent of students eligible. State leaders say the new money allocated is only enough to extend the program and not enough to enroll more families. But more resources are coming. The FCC received money to develop a similar program over the next 60 days.

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