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$27M Issued To California Schools To Improve Internet Access

Schools in San Diego, Julian, Lemon Grove and Vista are among more than 200 campuses statewide that will share nearly $27 million in grants to improve broadband Internet access, the state Department of Education announced Wednesday.

"These state grants provide the critical last step needed to connect an additional 63,000 students to the state education network that will give them access to technology, which will prepare them for college and careers, and let them take the new computer-based California assessments," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Schools around the state last year checked to see if they could administer the online assessments. The CDE said computer systems at around 300 campuses weren't able to perform well enough, or only could if all other online activities ceased.

The K-12 High Speed Network, a state-funded program administered by the Imperial County Office of Education, is looking into solutions for the schools that did not receive grants.

"Getting all school sites connected is critical because the new online system provides teachers more resources to improve instruction, improves students' test-taking experience, and ensures that results are available to teachers, parents, and students much sooner than ever before," said state Board of Education President Michael Kirst.

Local schools to receive the broadband grants are:

• America's Finest Charter and KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy in the San Diego Unified School District;

• Harbor Springs Charter and Julian Junior High in the Julian Union School District;

• Monterey Heights Elementary, Mount Vernon Elementary, San Altos Elementary, San Miguel Elementary, and Vista La Mesa Academy in the Lemon Grove School District; and

• Belle Mente Montessori Academy in the Vista Unified School District.

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