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Rio Rancho public schools receiving $2 million in broadband funding grants

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(The Center Square) – The Rio Rancho Public School District is receiving $2,198,052 in grants from the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Created and funded in 2021 by the American Rescue Plan, the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) directs federal funding to eligible schools and libraries to expand their digital tools and services.

The fund exists to “help close the education gap,” according to a press release from the office of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico.

Luján and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, praised the announcement and said the funding will help improve the education quality in Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Luján said that in 2023, reliable internet is vital in the classroom.

“Just like pen and paper, access to a reliable internet connection is critical inside and outside the classroom,” Senator Luján said in the release. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, closing the digital divide is a priority of mine. Thanks to this significant investment, the Emergency Connectivity Fund will help students and teachers at Rio Rancho Public Schools reach reliable connectivity– bringing us one step closer to closing the gap.”

Heinrich reiterated that sentiment and said he will continue working to ensure every community in the state has reliable internet access.

“Students need fast and reliable internet to learn and succeed in school,” Senator Heinrich said in the release. “I’m proud to welcome this funding that we secured in the American Rescue Plan to connect students and teachers at Rio Rancho Public Schools to high-speed internet. I’ll keep fighting to make sure that all New Mexicans in every community across our state have the internet access they need to succeed.”

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