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Gov. Abbott, TEA launches initiative to bring internet connection to all Texas students

The initiative, which originally started in Dallas, is called Operation Connectivity.

As learning from home continues in the state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott wants to make sure each student has access to the internet.

So he, along with the Texas Education Agency, is launching an initiative -- called Operation Connectivity -- to provide all Texas students with high-speed internet connection along with other resources they need to connect and communicate online.

Gov. Abbott got the idea for this initiative from Dallas Independent School District. The superintendent for the school district helped close the digital divide for students in their area. 

"With students learning remotely for the time being, it’s more important than ever for all our students to be able to access academic content at home. In order for that to happen, all students in Texas need access to computers and/or tablets, and internet outside of the classroom. Operation Connectivity is providing the right solutions to this big challenge," said TEA Commissioner Mike Morath.

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The statewide implementation of this initiative will be led by the Operation Connectivity Task Force:

  • DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa 
  • TEA Commissioner Mike Morath 
  • Senator Larry Taylor, Chairman of the Committee on Education in the Texas Senate
  • Representative Dan Huberty, Chairman of the Public Education Committee in the Texas House

The task force members will also include representatives from the following entities:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Local Education Agencies
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • EducationSuperHighway
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Department of Information Resources
  • Texas Computer Education Association 
  • Chief Technology Officer Council of Texas

The role of the  Operation Connectivity Task Force will be to gather critical information to determine which children in the state do not have internet access and/or home devices, document best practices, identify and secure technology solutions for broadband and devices, develop actionable playbooks for districts across the state, identify funding needs and help secure resources, demonstrate “lighthouse” examples, including at DISD, and push for federal and state-level policies that connect more students learning at home to available technology resources.

The task force will convene as a full group every month to review progress.