Broadband grants mean millions more for higher education

Federal funding will provide more broadband access to students across the nation.
Federal funding will provide more broadband access to students across the nation.

Colleges and universities will be among the anchor institutions in an ultra high-speed nationwide internet network after President Obama earlier this month announced more than $760 million in grants designed to expand broadband web access.

The Departments of Commerce and Agriculture will dole out the federal broadband funding, which will go to 66 recipients, including municipalities, web service providers, libraries, and colleges, according to the White House.

Federal officials estimate that the funds will create 5,000 jobs in the nation’s slumping economy.…Read More

Lawmakers trade broadband grants, school reforms for education jobs

The measure must still pass the Senate, where Republicans have threatened a filibuster.
The measure still must pass in the Senate, where Republicans have threatened a filibuster.

School districts would get $10 billion in additional funding to help them avoid laying off teachers, and college students would get $5 billion more in Pell Grant money to account for a shortfall in that program, under a supplementary spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives July 1. But the additional funding would come at a price for other programs, including $600 million in cuts to broadband stimulus funding and $800 million in cuts to school-reform initiatives.

The changes are part of an $80 billion war spending bill needed to pay for President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. As of press time, the bill was awaiting action in the Senate.

The president has promised to veto the bill over its proposed cuts to his school-reform initiatives, including $100 million in charter school funding, $200 million in Teacher Incentive Fund money, and $500 million from the Education Department’s showcase “Race to the Top” (RTTT) program.…Read More

Obama to announce broadband grants to spur jobs

U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to announce on July 2 nearly $800 million in loans and grants for the build-out of broadband networks to reach homes, schools, and hospitals, Reuters reports. The grants and loans, which will be matched by another $200 million in outside investment, are part of Obama’s massive federal stimulus package. The White House said the infrastructure projects will directly create 5,000 jobs and help spur economic development in some of the nation’s hardest-hit communities. The planned announcement comes amid news that U.S. employment fell for the first time this year in June as thousands of temporary census jobs ended and private hiring grew less than expected, dealing a blow to Obama who has identified job creation as a key priority. The departments of Agriculture and Commerce will administer the grants and loans, which were awarded for projects in 50 states and Washington, D.C. The projects will include laying communications lines to homes, hospitals, and schools and expanding computer facilities in libraries, community colleges, and other public areas. These latest grants and loans will bring the total amount disbursed for broadband projects to more than $2.7 billion since December 2009, covering more than 260 individual projects…

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