Mississippi Connects is a program to provide every public-school student in Mississippi with the technology to learn at school and at home. The unexpected need for distance learning provided Mississippi with an opportunity to reimagine the digital learning experience and create an innovative approach to providing students what they need to learn, whether inside a classroom or at home. Mississippi sees the urgent need for technology and is ready to meet that need to ensure every student can succeed.
- The Mississippi Legislature allocated $200 million for Mississippi Connects through two laws, the Equity in Distance Learning Act (SB 3044) and the Mississippi Pandemic Response Broadband Availability Act (HB 1788). The goal of Mississippi Connects is for every student to receive the technology needed to learn.
- Funds from Mississippi Connects will cover up to 80% of costs for school districts to purchase computer devices and other tools to enable students to continue to learn when they are not in a school building.
- To qualify for state funds, districts must pay at least 20% of costs for the program.
- Depending on local needs, districts may pay a larger share of the cost.
- Computers ordered through the Mississippi Connects program will arrive ready to use. All software, security and support features will be pre-loaded and configured for immediate use.
- Districts can operate all devices remotely, pushing software and other updates to devices automatically.
- Mississippi Connects services, including on-site repair and replacement of damaged devices, extend through June 2023.
- Districts in areas of the state where students do not have broadband service will receive money to purchase services to increase student access to the internet.
- Professional development for teachers, parents and school staff to support device and internet usage at home and in school provides needed support for success.
- Districts benefit from access to partnerships with local internet service providers (ISP) to address the rural broadband gap.
- Providing statewide technology, distance learning resources and training will help shape and innovate the future of education and the future of our students.
- Access to high-quality instructional materials.
- Easy transition from in-person to distance learning.
- Preparation for digitally advanced careers.
- Increased equity by narrowing the digital divide.
- Access to telehealth/telemedicine to provide resources for physical and emotional health as Mississippi addresses academic needs.
Key Information for Districts
Timeline and Important Deadlines
Required Application Materials
- Digital Learning Needs Assessment PDF
- EDLA Program Technical Assurances Revised 08.28.2020 PDF
- Equity in Distance Learning Implementation Final PDF
- Update and Verification Form PDF
- Equity in Distance Learning Implementation Step 1 Revised PDF
- Equity in Distance Learning Act Application
Webinars, Presentations, and Frequently Asked Questions
- 06/03 - Digital Learning Needs Assessment Q&A Webinar -
- 07/24 - Equity in Distance Learning Implementation First Steps Webinar -
- 08/03 - Equity in Distance Learning Act: Continued Discussion and HB 1788 -
- 08/13 - Equity in Distance Learning Act Implementation Part 3 – Eligibility & Connectivity -
- 08/20 - Equity in Distance Learning Act Implementation Part 4 – Digital Learning Plan -
- 08/28 - Equity in Distance Learning Act Part 5 - Final Guidance for Digital Learning Plan -
- 09/10 - Equity in Distance Learning Act Part 6 – SB3044 & HB1788 Discussion –
- 09/17 - -
HB1788 Connectivity Guidance Webinars
- 8/25 – HB1788 Connectivity Guidance with Comcast
- HB1788 Comcast Offer PDF
- 8/25 – HB1788 Connectivity Guidance with Verizon
- HB1788 Verizon Offer PDF
- 8/25 – HB1788 Connectivity Guidance with CSpire
- 8/26 – HB1788 Connectivity Guidance with T-Mobile
- 8/26 – HB1788 Connectivity Guidance with AT&T
- 9/22 - Reimbursement Process - Teams meeting
EDLA Express Product List Contracts and Pricing
Information regarding the EDLA Express Products List (EPL) from CDW-G and Apple (this information is available to districts through the vendors’ portals).
For items to be considered equivalent to those on the EPL, they must meet all specifications and include all components (e.g., laptop case, licenses, Accidental Damage Protection) detailed on the list.
To be eligible for reimbursement, the items must be delivered by Nov. 20, 2020.
Note: Windows devices on the EPL will be eligible for an additional reimbursement of approximately $60 per device through MDE’s Windows supplemental grant.
- EDLA Express Products List (EPL): CDW-G
- EDLA Express Products List (EPL): Apple
- Coming Soon
- Equity in Distance Learning Act (SB 3044)
- Mississippi Pandemic Response Broadband Availability Act (HB 1788)