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Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick: Fed Stimulus Helping South Florida Schools, Library With Online Learning

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While she was not in Congress to vote for it, last week, U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., marked the one-year anniversary of the “American Rescue Plan,” a $1.9 trillion stimulus baked by the Biden administration and Democrats in charge of Congress.

Last week, Cherfilus-McCormick, announced that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF) was funding almost $15 million for projects in her South Florida district.

“The ECF program, which was created as part of the American Rescue Plan, helps schools and libraries ensure that students can connect to the internet at home, allowing them to take advantage of online learning and do their homework. Known as the ‘homework gap,’ students who lack access to the internet at home often fall behind their peers as curriculums and educational opportunities rely more and more on the ability to conduct online research and connect to the web,” her office noted.

So far, the ECF program has cost more than $7.15 billion with almost $225 million sent to Florida and “will help cover costs of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare what was already true — that with educational tools, homework, and opportunities increasingly online, kids without home internet access are often left without the basics needed to succeed,” said Cherfilus-McCormick. “This critical funding, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help children across Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick’s who don’t have the equipment or internet access necessary to stay connected and get their work done. I’m proud to have supported this program in Congress and will keep fighting to close the homework gap because students – regardless of zip code or circumstance – deserve the tools they need to succeed in school.”

After the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., last year, Cherfilus-McCormick won the special election to replace him at the start of this year.

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  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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