Fort Worth ISD to spend $2.5M on computers, Wi-Fi hotspots for students without access to them

Fort Worth ISD approved millions of dollars to be used for computers and Wi-Fi hotspots to make sure students without access to devices or internet can continue online learning.

They will spend $2.5 million to ensure students are connected to the learning at home online system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re making arrangements through these purchases to make sure that there’s at least one device in the house, that they have a way to connect to the internet,” said Clint Bond, with FWISD.

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More than 6,000 Chromebooks and 6,000 Wi-Fi hotspots will be delivered to families within the next week.

The decision comes after a districtwide survey taken earlier this month found that thousands of students had no access to the internet.

Connectivity for students is a priority for the city’s newly formed education and childcare committee, led by councilmembers Carlos Flores and Kelly Allen Gray.

“Education and childcare are not core functions to city government but these functions are critical for economic vitality and well-being,” Gray said.

Gray added that the 14-member committee - composed of civic leaders and educators - is focused on things like overcoming language barriers and other challenges for low-income families.

And for essential workers still in need of childcare, the city plans to offer three months of paid childcare for 600 families.

“We have lots of gaps that we have filled in. And so literally this has been a community wide and county wide effort to make sure that our kids are not left behind,” Gray said.

One of the challenges is matching essential workers with childcare.

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