U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced the award of grants worth more than $1.87 million for distance learning and telehealth networks in three rural Mississippi school districts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development approved Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to West Point Consolidated School District, Lawrence County School District, and Scott County School District for telecommunications networks that support distance learning and telehealth services.
“The lack of upgraded broadband and telecommunications services in rural Mississippi hinders educational achievement and limits the benefits of telemedicine,” Hyde-Smith said. “There is a stepped-up effort to increase appropriations to help rural communities upgrade these needed technologies, and I’m very pleased these three Mississippi school districts submitted successful applications for resources that will benefit their entire communities.”
DLT grants fund telecommunications and Internet services for distance learning and telemedicine networks in rural areas to increase access to education, training and health care resources that are otherwise limited or unavailable.
The USDA Rural Development grants, worth $1,871,164 combined, include:
- West Point Consolidated School District – $804,379 for equipment to improve access to telemedicine and classroom instruction, including state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment, interactive boards, teacher technology lecterns that support online learning.
- Lawrence County School District – $600,742 for equipment to provide a telemedicine and distance learning network, which would also support access to college courses, dual credit classes, teacher sharing, professional development, adult education classes, and workforce training.
- Scott County School District – $466,043 for equipment for a telemedicine and distance learning network that supports basic learning and educational services, language services, access to math, science and advanced classes (dual enrollment).