Students of all ages from kindergarten to college are starting back to school, whether with in-person instruction or virtual learning. Every school across the state continues to adapt to accommodate students’ return, all while keeping them as safe as possible during this pandemic. Although the start to this school year looks quite different than most, it is beneficial for our students to be back learning and continuing their education, even if it calls for following unique and new routines.
With updated guidance and restrictions in place for students, faculty, and staff to have the ability to interact on a school campus, I am reminded of how dedicated and determined our teachers are to educating our youth. We have seen the hard work of so many essential workers across the country throughout the entirety of this pandemic. I would like to give my continued thanks to each of you, especially our educators, as we kick off this unprecedented school year. Not only do teachers increase children’s knowledge and understanding, but they give children purpose and inspire them to succeed.
With students across the state participating in virtual learning, access to necessary resources and tools is essential to ensure their education is as effective as it would be in the classroom. Last month, Governor Kay Ivey announced the allocation of $100 million in federal funding through the CARES Act to increase internet access for K-12 students participating in distance learning. Reliable high-speed internet is a necessity, especially for children who are completing their education remotely, and there is much room for improvement on more permanent broadband infrastructure across our state.
For parents of those students who are back in school for in-person instruction – please remember to adhere to all orders and guidelines to help your children and their classmates stay safe. The current Safer at Home public health order expires on August 31 at 5:00pm, or until further notice from Governor Ivey. Please continue to do your part and wear a mask, follow social distancing instructions, and make smart choices about congregating in groups. Your participation helps to keep you, your families, and your communities healthy.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.