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Northwest Kansas school officials excited about prospect of high-speed Internet


Two northwest Kansas superintendents are excited about the prospect of having their small school districts equipped with high-speed Internet.

As the Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the small Hoxie school district in Weskan regularly experiences technology issues due to a lack of funding and infrastructure. Superintendent Dave Hale told the Capital-Journal earlier this week that the school district’s old equipment is too costly to replace, so the announcement made last week by Governor Sam Brownback that 300 mostly rural schools in Kansas would be equipped with fiber-optic connections was welcome news.

Called Kansas Connect and Learn, the state would partner with Educational SuperHighway, a non-profit that will coordinate the Internet upgrades. The project comes with a $100 million-price tag, but the state is hopeful that the Federal Communications Commission will foot 80 to 90 percent of the bill. Kansas will pick up the remaining $10 million with the state’s universal services fund.

Education SuperHighway will not charge Kansas for its services, the Capital-Journal reports, because the California-based non-profit raises funds from corporate and philanthropic groups.

Larry Lyder, superintendent of the Golden Plains School District in Selden, told the Capital-Journal that having high-speed Internet would help students in his small district to “achieve more and research more.”