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St. Paul School receives funds for broadband expansion

WEIRTON — A local school is among those receiving funding to assist with broadband access improvements through the American Rescue Plan.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Wednesday morning the awarding of $561,367 from the ARP through the Emergency Connectivity Fund, organized to assist schools and libraries with the purchase of laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connections.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, St. Paul School in Weirton will receive $18,273.

Funds also were awarded to Mineral County School District and Cabell County Schools.

“The Emergency Connectivity Fund has delivered more than $36 million to increase access to reliable broadband for thousands of West Virginia students, teachers and library visitors. I fought to include more than $7 billion in the American Rescue Plan to provide short-term broadband solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic and advocated for rural states like West Virginia. As we work to bring reliable, affordable broadband access to all West Virginians, I will keep pushing to implement long-term solutions included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Manchin.

To date, West Virginia has received $36,923,791.99 to be distributed among 53 educational organizations in the state.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund was authorized in the American Rescue Plan to provide $7.17 billion to expand distance learning and connectivity around the country, including key provisions which prioritized rural areas and made these funds fully reimbursable.

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