OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today expressed appreciation for ongoing efforts to bring high-speed Internet to more schools and students statewide as part of her Oklahoma Connect and Learning Initiative.  The Oklahoma Connect and Learn Initiative is part of the Oklahoma Works strategic plan.

The Initiative leadership team consists of members from the Governor’s Office, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and Office of Management and Enterprise Services.    The initiative is coordinated through a national policy academy hosted by the National Governors Association and EducationSuperHighway, a national non-profit focused on upgrading the Internet access in America’s public schools.

“I am proud of the progress made by our school districts through the Oklahoma Connect and Learn Initiative,” Fallin said.  “This initiative is a voluntary program that works with school districts to maximize existing funding to connect schools with broadband, as well as provide students and educators with Wi-Fi access in classrooms.  The increased broadband provides access to digital resources and learning opportunities, which will provide students with additional content and academic courses.”

The EducationSuperHighway’s annual “State of the States” report on K-12 broadband connectivity finds that:

91 percent of Oklahoma school districts meet the minimum connectivity goal of 100 kbps per student, up from 85 percent at this time as reported last year.

204,216 Oklahoma students gained access to more bandwidth in their classrooms.

124 Oklahoma school districts upgraded their broadband connections.

98% of schools in Oklahoma have fiber connections needed to keep up with growing bandwidth demand from students and teachers.

Speaking about Oklahoma’s success, Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway noted, “Few state leaders are as committed to expanding and improving broadband in schools as Governor Fallin. I saw that firsthand when I joined her in September to announce the launch of the Oklahoma Connect and Learn Initiative. She is joined in this commitment by so many leaders all across the state. The fact is, Oklahoma is making tremendous progress in bringing high-speed Internet to every student, and Oklahoma is more prepared than ever to keep that progress going. We look forward to continuing to work with the governor and the Oklahoma team to continue connecting more students to the digital learning world of today and tomorrow.”

To see the full “State of the States” report, please visit the EducationSuperHighway website here: http://stateofthestates.educationsuperhighway.org/