Today, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to schools in Holliday and Galt to announce that his administration is leading an effort that will bring high-quality, broadband Internet access to every school in Missouri for the first time in state history. Governor Greitens explained that he and his team worked with private sector partners, the state legislature, and the federal government to secure $45 million dollars of funds for a program that will enable every public school in Missouri to build the infrastructure for quality internet access. These schools will be able to fund that essential infrastructure without spending a single dollar from their local budgets.
Governor Greitens told the families who gathered for the events, "For too long, Missouri's rural communities have been forgotten. We were sent here to fight for all Missouri families, and that's what we're doing. During the transition, we got to work and developed a long-term plan to bring quality Internet access to Missouri's small towns. This is an important first step on that mission and a big achievement.
With this partnership, Missouri's students will finally have access to the same learning opportunities that kids around the country have. We're proud to stand up for our rural communities, and we're going to keep fighting for them every day."
Currently, more than one hundred Missouri school districts do not have access to quality Internet because of a lack of infrastructure. This strategic investment will allow those districts to bring quality broadband Internet to their schools via fiber optic connections. By working with the House and Senate to appropriate $6 million in this year's budget, Governor Greitens will unlock $39 million in matching federal E-Rate funds for these schools.
The Governor thanked non-profit partners, Education Superhighway and MOREnet, for their work on this issue. He also thanked the Missouri House for their work to get this funding into its budget.