State will send distance learning tech to 70K more kids this week

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state will send 70,000 more students technology this week to help with distance learning while school campuses are closed, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference Monday.

California has been collecting laptops, tablets, internet hot spots and other technology donated by major companies such as Apple, Google, T-Mobile and Sprint, and has also received equipment through philanthropic groups, officials said.

Tens of thousands of the devices will be delivered to communities in need by the end of this week, said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who has worked directly on the drive to “close the digital divide.”

“I am beyond grateful for the generosity and leadership of our community leaders to help us bridge the technology gap that too many California families are facing,” Siebel Newsom said. “As a mother of four, I know well that the challenges of distance learning can take a toll – both on the child and the parent. That is why it is crucial we close the digital divide and work to ensure that every child has what they need to reach their full potential.”

The governor also shared Monday that the Public Utilities Commission is making $30 million available to expand internet access and connection quality around the state. A Sacramento pilot program using school buses as mobile hot spots could be expanded if it is successful.

Learn more about the state’s education resources here.

Learn more about education resources in San Diego here.

Calif. coronavirus tallies

Newsom said the state has confirmed 30,978 cases of COVID-19 in California. More than 3,000 of those people are hospitalized, and more than 1,000 of them are in intensive care units.

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