When school campuses across California closed due to COVID-19 in March of 2020, over six million students, their families and hundreds of thousands of educators had to pivot overnight to distance learning. At the outset, the closure seemed like it would be over in a matter of weeks, unfortunately, we know this was not the case. The stark reality we faced was that close to 1/5th of California students lacked the resources to continue their education from home, due either to a lack of connectivity, a device or both. Within days of this realization, in the midst of a global pandemic, Governor Newsom, The First Partner, The State Board President and The State Superintendent joined forces with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation to form the Bridging the Digital Divide Fund (BDD).
Through this joint effort, we were able to secure 138 donors and raise $18.4 million dollars through March of 2021. In addition to addressing the pandemic-related digital divide, the BDD Fund enabled us to respond immediately to the technology needs of every school district impacted by the 2020 wildfires. The generosity of the donors to the BDD Fund, spurred outside donations in the tens of millions directly to communities and school districts throughout the state. The Governor, the Superintendent and the Legislature authorized the Learning Loss Mitigation Fund that invested $5.3 billion for schools to support distance learning, $2.1 billion of which was spent on technology. To learn more download our overview here.
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.
NEWS & REPORTS ABOUT BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN EDUCATION
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! Thank you to our key distribution partners who enabled us to deploy technology to school districts in a cost-effective and timely manner despite worldwide shortages of Chromebooks during the COVID-19 pandemic. We could not have managed this without their incredible effort.
- Aaron Levie
- Benificus Foundation
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- Craig Newmark Philanthropies
- Donald Glover
- Emily Dunkel & Brian Milch Fund
- Essex Property Trust
- Eyesafe, LLC
- Google Employee Gift Matching
- The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
- Heising-Simons Foundation
- Hewlett Packard
- Innovative Computing Systems
- Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall
- Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki
- Kapor Center
- Kat Taylor
- Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson
- Office Depot
- Roxanne Stachon and Todd McKinnon
- Scott Cook and Signe Ostby through The Valhalla Charitable Foundation
- Silver Giving Foundation
- Southern California Edison
- Stuart Foundation
- Susan Sandler Fund
- Zagg Inc.
- Anonymous Foundations
- Individual contributions through GoFundMe campaign