In this Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, Travis Sheetz, a worker with the Mason County Public Utility District, installs fiber optic cable on a utility pole, while working with a team to bring broadband internet service to homes in a rural area surrounding Lake Christine near Belfair, Wash. Credit: Ted S. Warren / AP

UNION, Maine — Maine schools will receive more than $1.6 million in federal money to help improve internet access for students.

The Federal Communications Commission is sending the money to 23 Maine schools and school districts. It’s a round of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which was created by the American Rescue Plan.

Independent Sen. Angus King advocated in favor of the funding. He said the money will help schools address the digital divide in classrooms. He said high-speed broadband connection “is a must-have for young people pursuing their education.”

The funding is slated to go to schools and districts including Wells-Ogunquit Community School District, Maine Indian Education in Calais and RSU 40 in Union.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said the funding will help “ensure that every student, regardless of where they live in Maine, is able to have the connectivity and digital tools they need to succeed.”