$420M program announced to cover Texas public school costs connected to remote learning

A masked student works on her laptop on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – A $420 million reimbursement program will cover costs incurred by Texas public schools that purchased technology so students could learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Office announced Wednesday.

The program, jointly administered by the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Division of Emergency Management using federal CARES Act dollars, promised to reimburse districts for costs incurred since the 2019-20 school year if the district locally purchased eLearning devices -- like laptops, tablets and Chromebooks -- and/or WiFi hotspots.

“This reimbursement program will significantly ease the financial burden on Texas public schools that have purchased these crucial eLearning devices and also helps ensure that more students have access to these devices as needed,” Abbott is quoted as saying in a news release.

School systems across Texas may apply for these reimbursement funds beginning Friday, November 20. TEA will be holding a webinar that day, during which time details of the application process will be provided to participants, Abbott’s office added in its news release.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.