Leaders of several of the area’s rural school districts met virtually with elected officials this week to discuss the issue of broadband infrastructure they and their students and families deal with on a daily basis.
Region 19 Superintendents Rosy Vega-Barrio (Tornillo), Dr. Veronica Vijil (Fabens), and Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez (San Eli) Met with local and federal representatives to talk about the barriers and the opportunities they see here in the region’s rural areas.
Representing the elected officials, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, County Commissioner Iliana Holguin, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, as well as representatives from the region’s state lawmakers.
The education leaders pointed out that during virtual learning, connectivity issues have been an issue in rural towns such as San Elizario, Fabens, and Tornillo. They shared that, while hot spots have been provided to students who do not have internet access at home, it has proven to be a costly and temporary solution for school districts.
The limitation of the hot spots is poor connection when accessing platforms such as Zoom or Google Classroom, especially in households with more than one student.
Tornillo ISD Superintendent Vega-Barrio, Fabens ISD Dr. Vijil and San Eli ISD’s Dr. Meza-Chavez (SEISD) shared that they have been collaborating to find a solution to provide their students with the needed broadband access.
During the February 10th meeting, Congresswoman Escobar, Commissioner Holguin, Judge Samaniego, and representatives from Rep. Gonzalez’s and Senator Blanco’s offices were on board with the need to build a better broadband infrastructure for the rural towns.
Congresswoman Escobar provided insight to those in attendance regarding what is being done to provide needed resources directly to school districts and thanked the Superintendents for their leadership and for presenting possible solutions for this issue.