Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 7. General Powers and Duties of School Boards

§ 22.1-79.9. Promotion of broadband services for educational purposes.

A. As used in this section:

"Affordability program" means a program or package of broadband services which may include educational programming or access to educational content, offered by a private broadband service provider to school-age children and their families at a lower price, or with specialized services, compared to the broadband services offered by the private broadband service provider to the general public.

"Child nutrition program" means any school meal program funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program Afterschool Snack Service, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Special Milk Program.

"Sponsored program" means a financial program to provide lower-cost or free broadband services, or a specialized offering of broadband services, for educational purposes to the home of a student when the student would qualify for (i) a child nutrition program or (ii) any other program recognized or adopted by the local school board as a measuring standard to identify at-risk students.

B. Any school board may:

1. Promote and publicize the availability of private broadband services for educational purposes to parents and students, including the availability of any affordability programs or sponsored programs;

2. Provide promotional or informational materials for private broadband services to parents, students, and potential sponsors including brochures, flyers, and cable, internet, broadband, or other public service announcements, in any media, regarding locally available private broadband service offerings, including the availability of any affordability programs or sponsored programs, to encourage student use of broadband services for educational purposes;

3. Accept compensation, or in-kind donations of materials and services, from any private broadband service provider to reimburse the school board or other public body for its actual costs incurred in providing the materials described in subdivision 2;

4. Enter into agreements with local businesses, charitable groups, or private broadband service providers to promote sponsored programs to provide reduced cost or free broadband services for educational purposes to households of qualifying students. Under such agreements, the school board may award grants or subsidies to private broadband service providers to reduce or eliminate the cost of sponsored program broadband services provided to qualifying student households; and

5. Utilize any federal, state, or local funds that are not otherwise restricted to pay grants or subsidies to support sponsored programs, including any federal funds that may be available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-36, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, or similar legislation.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 496.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.