Foster Introduces Legislation to Close the Digital Divide for Students
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced the Closing the Digital Divide for Students Act to expand broadband access for low-income families in HUD-assisted housing and to ensure that more students have the opportunity to succeed in school. This bill would allow families who live in HUD-assisted housing, whose children qualify for free or reduced lunch, to use federal assistance on broadband internet access. Families who live in HUD-assisted housing currently receive financial assistance for utility bills, like electricity and gas and this bill would expand what utilities are permissible to allow families to use this assistance on basic broadband internet.
“Now more than ever access to the internet is essential for students to succeed,” said Congressman Foster. “During a global pandemic, in which schools across Illinois and the United States have moved to remote learning, students shouldn’t be limited by the high price of internet access. This bill would help close the divide for the nearly 12 million students who lack broadband internet access in their home and allow students to complete and succeed in their courses.”
A copy of the bill is available here.