Skip to content
Aurora Institute

Senate Introduces the Digital Learning Equity Act to Improve Opportunities for All Students

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum, Dale Frost, Susan Gentz

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Increase Access to Broadband

Yesterday in the United States Senate, Senator King (ME) and Senator Capito (WV) introduced the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 to improve broadband access and close the education opportunity gap for all students.

The Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 recognizes that Internet access is vital for all students to engage in high-quality, personalized learning options made available through online and blended learning. The bill would authorize a program where states and school districts could pilot innovative approaches to increase home Internet access for students and expand digital learning resources, content, and tools. Schools could partner with a host of entities, such as libraries, non-profits, businesses, or afterschool programs.

The program would focus on serving rural schools, high-need schools and low-income students. It would also authorize the Institute of Education Sciences to conduct a national study on the state of student access to digital learning resources at home and the impact on student engagement.

Susan Patrick, iNACOL’s President and CEO, said, “Broadband access is critical for educators and students to have powerful, personalized learning at their fingertips with online content and tools. This bill takes a significant step forward to provide students with improved Internet connectivity at home. It also focuses on student demand by supporting innovative education leaders to expand digital learning. By increasing access to high-quality educational opportunities available today, students will gain the skills they need to be successful in college and careers.”

iNACOL submitted letters of support to Senators King and Capito. For more information, access the letter sent to Senator King and iNACOL’s Statement of Support for the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015.