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Acquiring Devices and Connectivity for Students

An overview of available purchase programs to assist schools in acquiring equipment and connectivity services for students. These are made possible through partnerships between the California Department of Education and technological companies.

Overview of Available Purchase Programs

In an effort to support our schools, we have partnered with a few major technology companies and internet service providers to put together programs to make it easier for schools to acquire necessary equipment and services for their students. If you have not gotten orders placed yet, we encourage you to start the process now as devices are in high demand across the country. Please see the details below on the various programs and how to contact each of them.

NOTE: Inventory constantly changes, so please check this web page regularly for updates.

Funds Available for Devices: The Learning Loss Mitigation Funding (LLMF), authorized by the 2020–21 budget package, appropriates $5,334,997,000 from three different funding sources to be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) in order to support transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures.

Funds available from the CARES Act are covered from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020. Due to the approaching deadlines, we continue to encourage schools to start the process now to ensure orders are expected to arrive by December 30, 2020.

LEAs should not order devices late in the covered period (March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020) since those orders are not expected to be received by December 30, 2020, as it would be difficult to demonstrate the purchase was necessary due to COVID-19 as required by section 601(d) of the CARES Act.

It is not necessary for LEAs to receive devices by the December 30, 2020, expenditure deadline, provided the devices at the time the order is placed are expected to be received, that date and delays are due to supply chain interruptions beyond the control of the LEA. In these circumstances, LEAs may use CRF to pay for goods within 90 days of receipt.

Additional details on the LLMF can be found on CDE Foundation’s Programs for Digital Divide Support web page External link opens in new window or tab..

For questions on how we can provide assistance, please contact the Digital Divide team at DigitalDivide@cde.ca.gov.

Apple and T-Mobile Partnership

100,000 iPads available within four to six weeks with T-Mobile enabled cellular connectivity. Additional units will be available without cell service. Up to one million units to be available by the end of 2020.

To place an order or for more information:

  • Contact your Apple or T-Mobile Education Account Manager. If you are not sure who your representative is, call 877-386-4246 and a dedicated education agent will set up a live meeting for your school district with a T-Mobile representative.
  • Submit a lead on the T-Mobile Business web page External link opens in new window or tab. and T-Mobile will follow up within 24 hours.

Office Depot Technology Solutions

  • 27,000 11.6” Lenovo Chromebooks are available for delivery starting in mid-November through December 15th (approximately $264 with Chrome license). An additional 50,000 in late December.
  • Windows laptops with various specs and manufacturers are available for immediate shipment.
  • Office Depot Contact form External link opens in new window or tab.

For additional support, please contact:

Staples Technology Solutions

  • Chromebooks being set aside and held specifically for the CDE initiative and California schools: 40,000 Samsung Chromebooks with an ETA of November; 20,000 Samsung Chromebooks with an ETA of December; 20,000 Acer Chromebooks with an ETA of December.
  • Additional Chromebooks becoming available to all nationwide Staples customers: 10,000 HP Chromebooks in November; 100,000 Samsung Chromebooks in December; 40,000 Acer Chromebooks in December.
  • 10,000 multi-carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, & Sprint) Children's Internet Protection Act-compliant hot spots that offer simultaneous unlimited data with no throttling back on speed in stock now.
  • Information on these and additional offerings can be found on our Staples contact form External link opens in new window or tab..

For more information, please contact Kevin Totushek by email at Kevin.Totushek@staples.com or by phone at 916-402-4365.

CDW

As of October 2, 2020*:

  • CDW-G and ASUS have secured 60,000 ASUS 11.6” C204 Chromebooks available for delivery by mid-December priced under $259 External link opens in new window or tab..
  • CDW-G has secured 25% off standard individual license price ($99) External link opens in new window or tab. per user with a school or district purchase for the OTIS by Teq video based Professional Development platform. Schools and districts can lock in the discount with a two- or three-year commitment.
  • CDW-G has cameras and audiovisual technology External link opens in new window or tab. available to support remote and hybrid learning. Learning Environment and Audio Visual Specialists are available to assist districts in addressing different options.
  • CDW-G has negotiated an exclusive promotion with Neverware to provide their CloudReady 10-month subscription at a highly discounted price External link opens in new window or tab. for school districts in California. The 10-month subscription is to coincide with next year’s budget cycle.
* For more information on these special offers and other programs CDW-G has available for California educational agencies, visit this landing page External link opens in new window or tab. created for the California Department of Education. If you’d like more information or place an order, your CDW-G Account Team can assist you; please reach out to cde@cdw.com.

human-I-T

  • California based nonprofit, human-I-T, provides schools and districts with laptops, tech support, and high-speed internet options for their students.
  • New Windows and Chrome devices start at $240 each (15,000 like-new Surface tablets are available as of August 14, 2020).
  • Tech Support is available in both English and Spanish (one year included on devices purchased from human-I-T at no charge).
  • Internet sign-up assistance is provided for low-income families anywhere in California.

To connect with human-I-T, please use their human-I-T contact form External link opens in new window or tab..

CALNET Cellular Services

CALNET Program offers cellular voice and data services via competitively bid state contracts available to local government entities. Public schools can utilize these contracts by completing the two-step registration process. Once registered, schools may contact their chosen CALNET contractor sales representatives and submit a purchase order directly to their chosen CALNET contractor. 

The details of the CALNET cellular services for K–12 schools and two-step registration process can be found at the following links:

California Department of General Services-Procurement Division (DGS-PD) Contracts

Gold Star Technology

Golden Star Technology (GST) External link opens in new window or tab. is a provider of IT and AV solutions and services for commercial enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions.

  • As of September 1, approximately 1,500 units of unallocated Chromebooks are available.
  • Windows devices are configured to order with current lead times of 4–12 weeks, depending on components.
  • See GST’s Solutions for CA Learning Loss Mitigation External link opens in new window or tab. for more information.

For more information, please contact GST by email at CDE@gstes.com.

Dell

Dell Technologies is proud to support the State of California (CA) K–12 students with premier access of 100,000 Chromebooks for purchase by CA K–12 schools.

To place an order or for more information:

  • All purchases will follow the district's normal process through their Dell contact.
  • If a K12 organization does not have contact information for their Dell representative, or a contact information for a Dell reseller, then they can contact Dell by phone at 800-981-3355 and ask for “PRODUCT PRICING”. The caller will be transferred to a person who will then transfer them to a Dell K–12 business associate who can help them.

Models for Student Devices starting at $240:

  • Chromebook 11 3100 clamshell - Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4Gb Ram,16Gb eMMC, 11.6 Non-Touch with Cam&Mic, 3 cell battery, 65W PS, wireless AC, BT, 1 year Depot warranty support
  • Chromebook 11 31002-in-1 - Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4Gb Ram, 32Gb eMMC, 11.6 Touch with Cam&Mic, 3 cell battery, 65W PS, wireless AC, BT, 1 year Depot warranty support
  • Chromebook 11 31002-in-1 EMR capable - Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4Gb Ram, 32Gb eMMC, 11.6 Touch with Cam&Mic, 3 cell battery, 65W PS, wireless AC, BT, 1 year Depot warranty support
Questions:   Digital Divide Team | digitaldivide@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 28, 2020