School Board members and superintendents are urged to support Question 1 on the July 14 ballot, which would approve a $15 million bond to invest in high speed internet in underserved areas and be used to match up to $30 million in federal, private, local or other funds.
MSBA and MSSA testified in support of the bill authorizing the bond question, noting that expanded internet supports equity of learning through greater access to course offerings in all schools, including advanced or specialty classes, remedial learning and early college. Reliable internet connections also are critical to businesses.
The shutdown of schools and offices at the height of the pandemic in Maine underscored the importance of internet for at-home learning, telehealth and working at home. It also exposed statewide inequities in terms of reliable internet access.
Question 1 would start to address those inequities and is an essential step in truly having a connected Maine.