In just three years, the number of kindergarten through 12th grade school districts in Illinois able to access the internet at speeds of 100 kbps per student has improved by 25 percent—going from 71 percent to 96 percent. The report, done by EducationSuperHighway, tracks progress toward K-12 connectivity across the United States.
Over the past several years, it has been a top priority in Illinois to increase access to internet speeds to be on par with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) goal of one megabit per second per student. Illinois launched the Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative in 2016, in an effort to ensure all districts receive the support and funding to close the school broadband gap. Furthermore, the Fiscal Year 2019 education budget includes a $17 million Broadband Expansion fund to help cover costs of fiber upgrades for school districts.
While Illinois has advanced its school digital resources, work remains. EducationSuperHighway says 407,093 students in 32 school districts across the state still need adequate bandwidth for digital learning. There are also 136 school campuses in Illinois that lack scalable fiber-optic broadband connections.