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Digital Wallet: grant money for low-income families struggling with distance learning

Florida Virtual School counselor provides tips for distance learning
Posted at 3:09 AM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 09:49:19-04

TULSA, Okla. — While Tulsa County schools struggle with in-person and distanced learning, a new program is relieving stress from families planning to remain digital this school year.

For example, Union Public Schools has nearly 5,500 students enrolled online full time, that's nearly 35% of their total student population.

The students online may be facing challenges with certain subjects, and need tutoring or more, that's where the Digital Wallet helps low-income families get the resources they need.

It is part of the $39 million that Governor Stitt was given to help schools during the pandemic. Nearly $8 million of the $39 million was set aside to help with distanced learning needs of low-income families

2 Works for You sat down with the Secretary of Education. Ryan Walters said a family who qualifies could receive $1,500 to buy resources for online learning like tutoring and more.

“With so many issues with distanced learning, how difficult and complex that is, we want to make sure our students the have less resources than others, have every ability to navigate that,” Walters said.

How does it work? A family applies for approval. Then, $1,500 dollars is provided, not in cash, but in Digital Wallet funds.

An account is created on their website, you chose the resources you need until you max out your $1,500.

“There is an array, there is some supplies and some materials for early childhood learners, and then their is some supplies and information for students who would be the 9-12 grade students,” Walters said.

To qualify, you must meet federal poverty guidelines that are dependent on household size, and annual salary.

“What we decided to do was focus on those students most impacted, so we though students who were in high poverty areas, they may not have access to good broadband,” Walters said. "They may not have access to a good device, and they might need extra tutoring. These are often students that are further behind, that don’t have the resources of other students.”

To see if you qualify click here.

To apply click here.

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