USDA Rural Development Distance Learning Grant Would Involve Hattiesburg Facility as Hub

January 23, 2018

This is a press release from US Senate.



WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today praised the award of federal funding to establish a distance learning network in Amite, Marion, and Forrest counties to expand educational opportunities for rural Mississippi students and teachers.


approved a $335,811 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant for the Amite County School District to establish the network.  The grant will be matched with $104,155 in nonfederal funding, making $439,966 available for the project.


“This grant provides students and teachers in rural Mississippi an opportunity to access broadband technology to improve educational achievement,” Cochran said.  “I am pleased Rural Development will work with Amite, Marion, and Forrest counties to deliver this technology, which is currently unavailable in these schools.”


As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Cochran worked to secure $26 million in FY2017 for telemedicine and distance learning grants.  The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program helps fund broadband equipment to help rural communities connect to educational and health care services.


The network in Mississippi would involve five schools in Amite and Marion counties, with the Southern Educational Service Agency in Hattiesburg serving as the network hub.  Amite County High School, Amite County Elementary School, Amite County Vo-Tech, all in Amite County, as well as East Marion High School and West Marion High School in Marion County, would participate in the project.


The network would allow the schools to interconnect, share teaching staff, expand course offering, and support professional development for staff.

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