Programs for Digital Divide Support
The Learning Loss Mitigation Funding (LLMF), authorized by the 2020–21 budget package, appropriates $5.3 billion to be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) in order to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures. Please see the overview of LLMF for LEAs and CDE’s comprehensive LLMF guidance website. For available purchase programs, go to CDE’s Tech Devices website. For general questions and assistance contact: [email protected]
The California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund is a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, California Department of Education, and CDE Foundation. The CA BDD Fund is a centralized resource for state leadership to provide essential devices, connectivity, and related digital learning supports for PK-12 students, teachers, and their families. Funds from this campaign will go directly to equip school districts with the resources they need to enable distance learning for our 6.2 million learners and 300,000+ teachers.
As the private, non-profit partner of the California Department of Education since 2011, the CDE Foundation works closely with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and his team to enable public-private partnerships and implement solutions across the state. Our focus, in particular, is on building more equitable teaching and learning environments, which are currently in even greater jeopardy due to the uneven impacts of COVID-19 on students, families, and educators.
In the months ahead we will be working with our state-level partners to respond to the needs of districts across the state to provide devices for students, enhance connectivity, and support educators shifting to the new normal of distance learning. This includes special attention to Special Education (SPED), English Learner (EL), low-income and rural populations, for which additional virtual educator professional learning webinars are now in development.
Are you a corporate or institutional donor? Please contact Jessica Howard, CEO of the CDE Foundation
View additional resources and press releases here: Office of the Governor, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Recent news about the fund: Laptop, Hot Spot Donations Help Bridge Digital Divide (Edison) / Big Tech spent millions to close California’s digital divide this year. It’s hardly making a dent. (Protocal)
Fund Update 1/4/21
We are incredibly grateful to the companies, private foundations and individuals that have responded to state leaders’ requests to support the urgent need to bridge the digital divide for students in California!
From March-September 2020, the CA BDD Fund has garnered over $18.3 million and in-kind donations that has enabled procurement of over 65,000 devices and 100,000 hotspots. Over 300 districts that is approximately 29% of all districts in California have received devices and/or hotspots. This includes a number of schools impacted by California’s wildfire season that received emergency distance learning supplies, such as Chromebooks, hotspots plus service, and headphones. The remaining funds, along with additional pledges will be used to purchase and deploy additional devices to school districts this fall.
From April-September 2020 over 26,702 Chromebooks, purchased through cash donations to the CA BDD were delivered to 198 priority school districts in 39 counties. The priority school districts included small and rural schools as well those with some of the highest percentages of Free Reduced Meal Program Students and English Language Learner. In addition, over 100,000 T-Mobile hotspots that include 3 months of service (valued at $6 million) were delivered to over 300 school districts across the state.
In-kind donations made by technology companies include Amazon, Google, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft, and T-Mobile. The devices include Chromebooks, Microsoft laptops, Amazon Kindles, and Android tablets. Hewlett Packard Enterprises donated 40 Aruba Connectivity Kits to be used to extend school networks beyond the classroom to outdoor and adjoining properties to allow distance learning while keeping students and staff safe.