The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved, 5-0, $10 million to help with access to online learning materials.
The board voted Tuesday to close the “digital divide” by providing computers, tablets and mobile hotspot devices for students in grades K-12.
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, all 23 school districts in the county will begin the school year with distance learning.
“Computers and Internet access have increasingly become necessities and even more clearly now, as school instruction moves online,” said Supervisor Perez. “This investment aims to abolish the digital divide and ensure that students don’t have setbacks to their education due to lack of devices and Internet access.”
The $10 million dollar funds stem from monies received from the federal government and will go to Riverside County’s Office of Education “All For One” campaign.
“The All For One campaign was launched to directly benefit the neediest students and families in Riverside County by providing consistent and reliable access to technology and the Internet to ensure continuity of education through distance learning,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White. “As more than 430,000 students prepare to start the school year exclusively through distance learning, I applaud the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the value to the community of investing in our students today by allocating funds that connect local students to their education.”
The Riverside County Office of Education currently estimates over 50,000 computer devices and 30,000 are needed to effectively deliver full-time online learning to students. Staff from the Riverside County Office on Education will work with technology leaders at all 23 school districts to address the distance learning needs of students, prioritizing the highest needs for students who need access before the start of the 2020-2021 school year.