Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #20-66
August 5, 2020
Contact: Cynthia Butler
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Digital Divide Task Force Connect School Leaders to Available Devices as Learning Resumes

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the Closing the Digital Divide Task Force held a special webinar today to connect school districts to available technology during a time when most schools are starting the school year in distance learning and many are experiencing a shortage of computing devices.

The task force, co-chaired by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), also provided an update on one-time funding available immediately to school districts to purchase devices. State law requires that schools have a plan for ensuring access to devices and connectivity for all students whenever distance learning occurs.

“We know that up to 1 million students still need devices for distance learning, and we’re in a race against the clock as most schools plan to begin the next school year virtually,” Thurmond said. “We are proud to have provided this opportunity for all school districts in California to learn about the public-private partnerships available that can help us accelerate our efforts to meet the urgent needs of our most vulnerable students.”

During today’s webinar, panelists provided more details about a landmark collaboration with Apple and T-Mobile to fulfill orders from districts—which could reach 100,000 students during the back to school period and up to 1 million students by the end of 2020—with discounted iPads already equipped with high-speed internet connectivity.

The Governor’s Office also offered additional guidance for school districts regarding the $5.3 billion in one-time funding in the state budget for schools to strengthen distance learning heading into the same year. These funds—a rare opportunity for districts to make short and long-term investments in student technology—can be used immediately for purchasing needed devices.

An archived broadcast of today’s task force meeting can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Facebook page.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 6, 2020
Recently Posted in News Releases
  • SSPI Announces Face Masks Donation by GM (added 22-Oct-2020)
    State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announces donation of 500,000 face masks by General Motors to aid safe school reopening.
  • CDE Emergency Response Fund (added 15-Oct-2020)
    State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announces statewide fundraising drive to support California schools impacted by wildfires.
  • Thousands of Devices Available for Schools (added 30-Sep-2020)
    SSPI Tony Thurmond announces more than 500,000 additional computing devices made available to California schools amid worldwide technology shortage.
  • SSPI Issues Statement on CSA Report (added 29-Sep-2020)
    State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to California State Auditor's Report on Youth Suicide Prevention
  • 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Announced (added 25-Sep-2020)
    State Superintendent Tony Thurmond congratulates California schools recognized as 2020 National Blue Ribbon schools.