- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
PSJA ISD School Board approves agreement with City of Pharr to provide broadband internet access to students
PHARR – As part of efforts to close the digital divide, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) is partnering with the City of Pharr to provide thousands of households with enrolled students in the district with broadband internet access free of cost starting the 2023-2024 school year.
An interlocal agreement was approved by the PSJA School Board of Trustees during a regular School Board Meeting held Monday, May 22, 2023. Approximately 6,400 households with PSJA ISD students in Pharr will benefit from this partnership. Each fixed line broadband internet subscription will be calibrated to provide fiber internet connectivity of up to 1 Gbps.
“Helping our families have connectivity provides our students with an equal playing field and equal access to be able to succeed by being able to complete homework and assignments at home,” said Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alejandro Elias. “We thank our School Board for their leadership and tri-city partners for working with us to address and work towards closing the digital divide.”
As part of the agreement, the city’s TeamPharr.net will serve as an alternative internet service provider throughout the PSJA ISD service area. Committed to helping close the digital divide, PSJA ISD will assume the cost of facilitating the delivery of reliable internet services to households in Pharr with enrolled students, investing a total of $50 per household per month over the next 10 years.
"First and foremost, we at PSJA believe that all of our students should have access to the resources necessary to succeed in academics and in their future careers. With this initiative, we ensure that our students in Pharr have access to reliable, fast internet to connect in their homes. I believe that it is superfluous if we give our students computers and other devices if they don’t have access to the internet to complete assignments," said PSJA ISD School Board President Dr. Cynthia Gutierrez. "It breaks my heart to see our students having to go to fast food restaurants, hotel parking lots, and hospitals to do their homework. This is not only
counterintuitive for the student’s education, but it can also be dangerous. We must never forget that we live in an era of technology, limited artificial intelligence, social media, and global connectivity; internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Unfortunately, there are still households in our district without internet access because they cannot afford it. Additionally, we want to provide internet for our students in the cities of San Juan and Alamo and our superintendent has been in communication with the elected officials of those municipalities to partner in the future to that end.”
Households with PSJA ISD students residing in the city of Pharr may learn more about the fiber internet services at https://pharr-tx.gov/teampharr-net/
PSJA ISD is still accepting students for the 2023-2024 school year. To enroll at PSJA ISD, parents can visit www.psjaisd.us/register or call 956.354.2167.