Khan Academy made a commitment to advocate for closing the Digital Divide. Across the United States, up to 12 million students do not have adequate internet access and are unable to complete their school assignments at home. Students without connectivity are at an educational disadvantage. Today we are asking for you to consider joining us in that work.
On August 10, the US Senate passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill which included $65 billion dollars for broadband infrastructure. These investments are the right first step to address the digital divide. Unfortunately, the broadband plan is missing an opportunity to extend funding for the FCC’s Emergency Connection Fund (ECF).
ECF helps schools and libraries provide connectivity and devices, so students and teachers can reliably use technology to support digital learning even after the pandemic ends. Last year, Congress provided a one-time, $7.17 billion appropriation to connect students and library patrons struggling to learn at home. These funds expire July 30, 2022. The SUCCESS Act proposes that the ECF receive a total of $40 billion over five years.
Why act now?
The August 10 Senate passage was a big milestone, but ultimately the budget will need to pass in the House of Representatives as well, so the work is not done yet.
We ask that you consider contacting your congressional leaders to urge passage of the SUCCESS Act.
Actions to take today!
1. Find the websites of your two senators and representative. Send them a message through their “Contact Me” forms. You can also call their offices, as they count the number of calls they receive from constituents. Below, we have a suggested email you can send. You can also use it as a script to read when you call. Feel free to personalize!
Suggested email to send to your legislators
Dear [Insert Name],
Our schools and libraries need your support to ensure that students and school staff can get adequate internet access and devices even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. In the United States today, up to 12 million students do not have adequate internet access at home, and this interferes with the ability to complete nightly school work and interferes with modern learning.
[Insert a short, personal example—if you have one—of a neighbor, family member, or friend who has relied on school or library internet access]
I urge you to pass the Securing Universal Communications Connectivity to Ensure Students Succeed (SUCCESS) Act to build on the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan during the budget reconciliation process.
[Your name, city, and state]