Back to school plan includes increased broadband access

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Governor Justice announced that he is committing $6 million to his Kids Connect initiative in order to ensure all West Virginia students have access to broadband.

Governor Justice and other leaders revealed a back to school plan in his briefing this past Wednesday.

“I’ve been working with the Department of Education for months,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Since schools called off earlier this year, the Department of Education has been in communication constantly with our union leaders and our union teachers.”

Within that plan was ensuring that all students would have internet resources to participate in virtual or remote learning. The Raleigh County Board has been preparing for virtual learning, and took the announcement in stride.

“I believe in my heart we’re truly in good shape,” said Raleigh County Director of Technology Rachel Pauley. “We’re fortunate that we’ve built one-to-one for the last eight years in grades 3-5. Last year we switched to Chromebooks at Liberty High School, so that gave us another group of iPads that we could distribute to the lower grade levels. So I think Raleigh County will be in good shape.”

The Governor is planning to work alongside the WVDE and with each county to make sure that every student has the resources to participate in virtual learning.

“What we’re trying to do in this whole thing, is we’re trying to take care of our kids, educate our kids,” Justice said. “We’re trying to get all of the lights on. We’re absolutely trying with all in us, with all of the resources that we have, and pouring more and more resources into it to make it all a reality.”

The target date for school re-entry remains Tuesday September 8.