Marc Johnson is the executive director of the East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative and sits on the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband. He says the new funding, coupled with the $70 million in broadband spending already approved by the state this year, will be a welcome shot in the arm for rural students. He says during distance learning, getting lesson plans to students who didn’t have good internet access was extremely inefficient. Schools had to send work “back and forth on buses, you know, to kids so that they could paper copies of things.”
Member school districts of the cooperative are Braham, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes, East Central, Hinckley-Finlayson, Milaca, Mora, North Branch, Ogilvie, Pine City, Princeton, Rush City, Pine Technical College, St. Francis, and associate member Elk River.
He says the broadband relief takes financial pressure off school districts and families as they “won’t have to spend the money that they’re spending right now on all of these measures to help families that don’t have access.”