Los Angeles County Office of Education

01/26/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/26/2021 20:01

Tens of thousands of devices, hotspots delivered to districts in need

LACOE's initiative to help close the digital divide has concluded for the current school year with the distribution of just over 48,000 devices and more than 32,000 hotspots to students in need in 55 districts.

Acting on a proposal from LACOE, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in October 2020 allocated $12.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for technology and internet connectivity needed by students to successfully participate in distance learning.

The Board of Supervisors later allocated additional funding for the effort, making available a total of $17.2 million. The funding not only enabled the purchase of devices and hotspots, but also supports internet service plans for families through Dec. 30, 2021.

$17.2 Million Helps Close the Digital Divide in LA County

36,892 Chromebooks for 44 districts
11,196 iPads for 21 districts
479 Windows devices for LACOE Juvenile Court Schools
32,290 Hotspots for 55 districts (including service plans)
700 Hotspots for check-out at county libraries

Home access to a computer and the internet remains essential for students as distance learning continues. The need will continue even when campuses re-open as schools are likely to continue physical distancing and adopt hybrid learning models.

'We are so grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their support and for making our students' needs a priority,' said LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo. 'This was a vital short-term solution in response to the pandemic. Our priority is to advocate for policy change and develop long-term strategies and partnerships to ensure all students in Los Angeles County have the technology tools that are essential for school and daily life.'

Watch a 1-½ min. video of Supervisor Barger's device distribution in Palmdale SD
Watch a 1-min. video of device distribution in Compton USD

Photo: LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger distributes devices for distance learning to families at the Buena Vista School in Palmdale.