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Beebe calls for broadband access for schools

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe is calling for the Legislature to act to open access for schools to the state's broadband network.

A spokesman for Beebe said Friday that the governor would be open to putting the measure on the call for a special session if the votes are there for passage.

In 2011, legislators passed a bill that exempted K-12 schools from having access to the Arkansas Research Education Optical Network. A new report shows that K-12 schools don't have adequate access to broadband Internet services.

The Arkansas Education Board adopted a digital learning study that shows network infrastructure for K-12 schools to be inefficient and inadequate.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample says if the measure isn't adopted this year, Beebe hopes it wins approval in next year's session.

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