Governor Tom Wolf visited Waynesburg Central Elementary School to highlight the need for statewide broadband access to increase educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s students.
“For Pennsylvania to succeed we must close the digital divide to ensure every citizen has the access it needs to connect to the ever-expanding digital world in which we live and work,” said Governor Wolf. “Our students, parents, and teachers deserve better, and we can provide that through Restore Pennsylvania.”
To achieve these goals, Governor Wolf announced a bold infrastructure initiative, Restore Pennsylvania, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant, high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.
Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas including High Speed Internet Access, Storm Preparedness and Disaster Recovery, Downstream Manufacturing, Business Development, and Energy Infrastructure, Demolition, Revitalization, and Renewal, and Transportation Capital Projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about local needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.
In Greene County, the governor outlined how Restore Pennsylvania will help school districts by expanding broadband access to all Pennsylvanians. Nearly a million Pennsylvanians today lack access to robust, reliable, high-speed internet.
“The Central Greene School District is proud to embrace Governor Wolf’s proposal to expand high-speed internet in rural communities,” said Superintendent Helen McCracken. “We owe our children and our school community broadband internet access, which should not be a function of who you are or where you are from; it should be a rite of passage to academic achievement, communication, and future success. It’s what our students and community deserve so that we may compete equally now and in the future.”
Restore Pennsylvania will provide funding to completely bridge the digital divide in every community in Pennsylvania, making Pennsylvania a better place to work, do business, and live. Grants will be available to support the installation of infrastructure to bring high-speed internet to every corner of the commonwealth. Funding will support every phase of the process from feasibility testing to a connection.