Every year, the Blandin on Broadband blog does County Broadband Profiles (and will do again when the new maps come out) but given federal opportunities are making it possible to get funding for access and adoption, I thought I’d try to present information for counties to assess their digital equity standing (see table below) and give options for who to contact locally for more information.
Stearns County ranks 31 out of 87 counties for digital equity. They are in the top third ranking. Their ranking for technology (broadband access at 19, computer ownership at 25 and broadband subscription at 29) are higher than other demographic tracts, such as poverty rate (rank 78). There’s an opportunity to find ways to use technology to help lift up those rankings both to attract funding but also to make a difference in the community.
Scroll down for details and suggested resources for more information.
Blandin Foundation is using the Microsoft Digital Equity Tool to determine needs by county and make high level recommendations for next steps to consider based on the data. (With special thanks to Carter Grupp, Broadband Coordinator Broadband Coordinator at American Connection Project for Otter Tail County.) Visit the tool if you want to look up more statistics on your community.
Demographic Data and Ranking (out of 87)
|Access to 100/20||19|
|No HS degree||61|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||68|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||78|
|No broadband access||44|
The map below shows digital inequity by census tract. The bluer the better; yellow and orange colors indicate more inequity. This map can be helpful in figuring out which parts of your county need the most help.
So where do you go to talk to people in the county about digit equity plans? Good places to start include:
- Albany Public School District (ISD #745)
Superintendent Travis Okerlund
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Public School District (ISD #2364)
Superintendent Patrick Walsh
- Holdingford Public School District (ISD #738)
Superintendent Dr. Chris Swenson
- Kimball Public School District (ISD #739)
Superintendent Erik Widvey
(320) 398-5585 x1332
- Melrose School District (ISD #740)
Superintendent Greg Winter
- Paynesville School District (ISD #741)
Superintendent Janell Bullard
- Rocori School District (ISD #750)
Superintendent John Thein
- Saint Cloud School District (ISD #742)
Superintendent Laurie Putnam
- Sartell-St. Stephen School District (ISD #748)
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Ridlehoover
- Sauk Centre School District (ISD #743)
Superintendent Don Peschel
(320) 352-2258 x4001
- West Central Area Schools (ISD #2342)
Superintendent Paul Brownlow