Tester Secures More Than $850,000 in Rescue Plan Funding to Help Montana Students Access High-Speed Internet

Senator: “Far too many students across Montana still lack access to reliable broadband services and connected devices, which is why I am proud to have secured this funding to help get more Montana families online.”

As part of his ongoing work to help ensure Montana students and school staff have the internet resources they need, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that he has secured more than $850,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support students’ off-campus learning needs.

Tester secured $853,554 for Montana schools through the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program which helps schools purchase critical internet connectivity tools like Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, laptops, and tablets. Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in favor of this funding.

“Affordable high-speed internet is a necessity in today’s schools, whether it’s to make up for learning loss due to the pandemic, accessing online resources, or simply logging in to distance learning,” Tester said. “But far too many students across Montana still lack access to reliable broadband services, which is why I am proud to have secured these critical resources to help get more Montana families online, and why I will keep pushing to ensure that every Montana student has access to the affordable high-speed internet they need to thrive.”

Tester secured resources to help schools across Montana access high-speed internet, including:

  • Yaak Elementary School (Troy): $2,518
  • Fromberg School District (Fromberg): $24,550
  • Red Lodge School District 1 (Red Lodge): $15,122
  • Billings School District 2 (Billings): $499,956
  • Great Falls Public Schools (Great Falls): $68,914
  • Gallatin Gateway School District (Gallatin Gateway): $21,396
  • Manhattan School District (Manhattan): $7,533
  • Whitehall Public Schools (Whitehall): $31,665
  • Florence-Carlton K-12 Schools (Florence): $159,600
  • Valley View School District (Polson): $5,598
  • Upper West Shore School District (Dayton): $16,700

Tester worked tirelessly to ensure the American Rescue Plan Act provides targeted resources to create jobs and build back Montana’s economy, including funding to ensure that local mayors have the resources to keep police officers and firefighters on the beat, every Montanan who wants a vaccine can get one, schools could fully re-open safely, as well as badly-needed relief for hard-hit Montana workers and small businesses.