File photo, April 8, 2016.
File photo, April 8, 2016.

Information provided by the Office of Congressman Jimmy Panetta


Two San Benito County school districts among agencies benefiting from a $14.9 million allotment to the current 20th Congressional District from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF).

Hollister School District will receive $363,671.40 and the San Benito High School will receive $84,810.00, the office of Congressman Jimmy Panetta announced.

According to the release, The ECF program, which was created as part of the American Rescue Plan, helps schools and libraries ensure that students can connect to the internet at home, allowing them to take advantage of online learning and do their homework.  The funding has been allocated to school districts that Congressman Panetta represents in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz.

In the release San Benito County Superintendent of Schools Krystal Lomanto said, “The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a great tool to assist schools in our county with additional connectivity for our students, This is an instrumental step to closing the homework gap and elevating those with limited access to information. The San Benito County Office of Education looks forward to seeing how this fund can make differences in students’ lives and additional steps for ongoing support in this very important aspect of education.”

“Although the pandemic highlighted the digital divide for many of our students locally, it allowed the federal government to step up and provide the funding necessary for kids to access the internet in many of our communities,” Panetta said in the release. “This critical funding from the American Rescue Plan will help students on the Central Coast get and stay connected so they can get their work done. I look forward to continuing to work with our superintendents in each county to get them this funding and get our students online.”

For eligible schools and libraries, the ECF Program will cover reasonable costs of laptop and tablet computers; Wi-Fi hotspots; modems; routers; and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons.


Complete list of recipients:

Alisal Union Elementary School District $2,092,237.50
Carmel Unified School District $127,994.43
Ceiba College Preparatory Academy $64,620.00
Chartwell School $24,000.00
Chualar Union Elementary School District $82,075.52
Greenfield Union School District $781,406.51
Hollister Elem School District $363,671.40
Monterey Peninsula Unified Schools $224,808.99
Pacific Grove Unified School District $238,430.76
Pajaro Valley Unified School District $4,139,789.56
Salinas City Elementary School District $3,044,270.84
Salinas Public Library $24,000.00
Salinas Union High School District $411,240.00
San Benito High School District $84,810.00
Santa Cruz City School District $1,686,718.92
Santa Cruz County Office of Education $302,767.85
Santa Rita Union School District $1,182,838.04
Spreckels Union School District  $93,873.90