Wolf Administration Visits Tri-Valley School District, Discusses How Restore Pennsylvania Will Bring Broadband Access to Students

Klingerstown, PA – Today, Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives Acting Executive Director Sheri Collins and Department of Education Deputy Secretary for Commonwealth Libraries Glenn Miller visited Mahantongo Elementary School in the Tri-Valley School District. Collins and Miller discussed how lack of access to high-speed internet hurts students’ ability to learn, and how the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania proposal will help municipalities close the digital divide.

“Providing access to high-speed internet is the only way to position our communities for success,” said Collins. “The digital divide has been a long-standing issue in rural Pennsylvania, and it is past time to act. Broadband is not a luxury anymore – it’s a necessity for our students get the best education possible. Restore Pennsylvania is a bold and innovative way to jumpstart the economy and move our rural school districts forward.”

Restore Pennsylvania, the $4.5 billion bipartisan proposal funded through a commonsense severance tax will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania. Funding will be available to support installation of infrastructure to bring high speed internet to every corner of the commonwealth.

Nearly a million Pennsylvanians today lack access to robust, reliable, high-speed internet. The problem is exacerbated in rural areas like Klingerstown where Mahantongo Elementary School is located. Modern teaching methods often require access to high-speed internet, but without abundant broadband access, those methods often cannot be used by teachers. Due to the cost of broadband infrastructure, local municipalities cannot fund the purchase and installation of that infrastructure themselves. If passed into law, Restore Pennsylvania will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to connection at a level far beyond any existing funding mechanisms.

“I view the Restore Pennsylvania initiative as critical to the future of communities such as Tri-Valley,” said Dr. Mark D. Snyder, Tri-Valley School District superintendent. “While we have numerous infrastructure needs, the goal of expanding broadband access in rural areas is notable. Families who lack reliable, high-speed internet do not have access to digital services that most people rely on, resources that are essential to education, community connectivity, agriculture, telemedicine, and overall quality of life.”

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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