Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education on Monday announced the state has received $26.2 million in federal relief to ensure education continues for students of all ages affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa’s grant is part of the nearly $3 billion Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The GEER fund allows governors to determine how to best meet the needs of students in public and nonpublic schools, postsecondary institutions, and other education-related organizations. “Superintendents told us better connectivity is what they need most to provide high-quality learning for all students during the pandemic,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “We have students without access to the technology they need, and Iowa’s GEER grant is an important step toward solving that problem. I am so proud of the work school leaders and teachers are doing, and that we can help support it in this way.” The Iowa Department of Education in collaboration with the State Office of the Chief Information Officer is conducting a statewide survey regarding barriers Iowans face to remote learning, including broadband access. The household survey targets families with K-12 students but also asks about college students. The intent is to prioritize areas of the state with the greatest need based on the survey results. The GEER funds are in addition to the $71.6 million Iowa received in federal relief for PK-12 schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund within the CARES Act. The Iowa Department of Education said it will provide more information soon about how the GEER funding will be allocated.