Budget contains $2 million for schools to tap into $5.5 million in federal telecommunication connectivity funds

(NASHVILLE, TN), May 1, 2012 – State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) announced today that the budget approved by the General Assembly yesterday contains $2 million to allow schools statewide to tap into $5.5 million in available federal funds for a total of $7.5 million.  The federal funds available to school districts are intended to pay for the infrastructure necessary to enable educators and students to participate in Internet and telecommunication connectivity at schools.

“There are many advanced education programs available to students through telecommunications,” said Senator Tracy, who is a member of the Senate Education Committee.  “These funds will go far in helping us to get the infrastructure needed to advance education programs for Tennessee students through this state-of-the-art technology.

Federal funding under the program is used for infrastructure connections (wiring, routers, and other equipment necessary to make the connection to the Internet or telephone/fax line).  Recipient school districts must “partner” with the federal government by paying a portion of the costs.  The funds provided in the budget will assist local schools in that effort.

“Local schools are strapped for funds to tap into these grants,” added Tracy. “I am very pleased this money is available to help them and to widen the range of capabilities that are available to our students.”

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