inthenews internetInternet access is an invaluable resource. Without it many of our students are unprepared for the future that awaits them in college classrooms, professional careers and everyday life. In decades prior, access to online information was not as widespread or important as it is now.

The EducationSuperHighway 2016 State of States Annual Report found that 83 percent of Illinois School districts representing 1,099,120 students met connectivity goals. The progress made last year tops the 71 percent of school districts with acceptable internet in 2015. The schools and libraries universal service support program, also known as the E-rate program, helps schools and libraries  get affordable broadband.

Illinois joined this nationwide collaborative to get high speed internet into more Illinois schools and, as a result, children are getting access to the tools they need to be successful. Data was gathered from K-12 school districts’ E-rate filings collected by the Federal Communications Commission.  

The report found that 180,264 students received minimum access to the internet and 191 Illinois school districts upgraded their broadband connections. The heightened accessibility to internet is proof ofstrides being made within school districts across the state.
New educational technology and creativity are now part of the basic skills that push career readiness. Classroom connectivity is a critical aspect of education in the 21st century and efforts such as this one brings Illinois students one step closer to achieving academic excellence.