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Texas school district sending out WiFi buses to ensure students from low income families can e-learn

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Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 14:08:48-04

A school district in Texas is taking radical steps to ensure low-income students don't fall behind in their classes during the coronavirus pandemic.

With in-person classes canceled in Texas for the foreseeable future, school districts have been forced to conduct classes online. However, some students from low-income families may not have internet access in their homes.

The Austin Independent School District hopes to change that. Earlier this month, the district began "strategically" placing 110 WiFi-equipped school buses near specific neighborhoods and apartment complexes to ensure more students can complete online lessons.

The busses roll out to Austin neighborhoods every weekday, and remained parked from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Students are only able to access the WiFi network on devices provided by the district — not from personal devices.

According to CNN, the buses are funded through a $600,000 grant from Kajeet.

"As we prepare for the possibility of extended school closures, we know that an Internet connection is a lifeline and a learning link for our students," Kevin Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer for Austin Independent School District said in a press release.