These southwest IL school districts received grants to help them close digital divide

More than $5 million went to school districts in southwestern Illinois to help close the digital divide as students continue to learn remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education announced more than $80 million in grants to 471 local education agencies Monday. The money comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and can be used for devices, including chromebooks, and to address connectivity issues with WiFi. The funds can also be applied to purchases made since March.

Nearly 92% of Illinois students started the school year with some form of remote learning, whether through a full-time remote model or a hybrid model that includes both in-person and remote learning components.

A total of 52 local education agencies — which includes school districts, state-authorized charter schools, university lab schools and alternative and safe school

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