computer and cell phone

Whether distance learning from home, going back into the classroom full-time or some combination thereof, reliable Internet access, devices and security solutions will be critical to keeping up to 12.5 million students in 10 U.S. states connected as they head into the 2020-2021 school year.

As the start of school quickly approaches, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has partnered with Verizon to provide a fast-track to enable distance learning for students in 10 neighboring states. Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) public schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are able to benefit from Verizon's sponsor-state agreement with GaDOE to provide schools in the 10 states with discounted service plans for unlimited 4G LTE Internet access, mobile device management (MDM) and Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)-compliant security applications.

“As a nation and as an educational community, we are truly in this together as we respond to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic," Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This partnership allows us to come together with other states to leverage buying power and deliver connectivity solutions for our students."

Access to a reliable 4G LTE Internet connection and education solutions also help to build a more equitable educational system long-term, as lack of Internet access can impact students' ability to attend class virtually, complete homework, or read and engage in educational and extracurricular opportunities.

“Together with the Georgia Department of Education, Verizon has stepped up to help solve the mission-critical need for up to 12.5 million students across 10 states to have the Internet access, devices and security solutions they need to continue learning," said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “The unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of keeping students connected to their schools, teachers and each other no matter the learning environment."

Eligible schools will be required to sign an authorized customer agreement in order to purchase from the Georgia Sponsor State Distance Learning Initiative agreement. Schools and school districts interested in learning more can visit the Verizon Distance Learning Information site or call 800-317-3841.​