The bill creates the connecting Colorado students grant program (program) to provide grants to local education providers to use in providing broadband service and other technology for increased internet access for students, educators, and other staff. The program is created in the department of education (department). The department reviews applications, and the commissioner of education (commissioner) awards the grants. The department must consult with the office of information technology, the office of economic development, and broadband and education technology experts in reviewing the applications.
The bill specifies the required contents of grant applications, the criteria that the department and the commissioner must consider in reviewing and awarding grants, and criteria for prioritizing applicants. The bill creates the connecting Colorado students grant program fund out of which grants are paid. By February 1, 2021, the department must distribute the money appropriated to the department for the 2020-21 budget year for grants.
Beginning in July 15, 2021, the department must submit to the state board of education, governor, and education committees of the general assembly a report concerning implementation of the program.
By January 10, 2021, the department, in collaboration with the office of information technology and broadband service providers, must develop and make publicly available a list of free or low-cost broadband services and other internet access resources.
The program is repealed, effective February 1, 2022.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)