The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of schools across California, which has necessitated adequate internet access and technology to continue the school year remotely, something one in five students do not have.
Following his call to action earlier this month, Gov. Newsom announced during his Monday press conference that the state will be partnering with the private sector to provide high-speed internet and adequate computing devices to students in need.
“School may be physically closed, but class is still in session,” Newsom said on Monday. “It is imperative that California addresses the inequities in access to computers, technology tools and connectivity to ensure that online learning can in fact reach all of California’s children.”
According to a parent survey conducted earlier this month, 50 percent of low-income families, 42 percent of families of color, and 20 percent of total families answered that their children lacked a device to access their ongoing curriculum during the state-wide shutdown.
The state, led by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, State Board of Education President Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, is partnering with the following private companies and business leaders:
- T-Mobile is donating 13,000 tablet devices
- Amazon is donating 10,000 tablet devices
- Apple is offering free coaching sessions to teachers to help them teach remotely and is offering special pricing for iPads with cellular
- Verizon is providing 250,000 students with discounter unlimited internet service
- The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative is donating $1,000,000
- Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) is donating $1,000,000
- Ann & John Doerr (venture capitalists) are donating $1,000,000