On Friday, December 18, the Louisiana legislature allocated $8 million to the Louisiana Department of Education for distance learning devices.
The Department says it will utilize the funds to purchase over 23,000 Chromebooks.
“On behalf of the educators, students and families across Louisiana, I want to thank our state leaders for prioritizing education with their vote,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley in a press release. “These funds are a welcome holiday gift that will help close the digital divide for some of our neediest families.”
The Department says it plans to distribute the devices to public school systems in early 2021 after collecting technology readiness data.
That data is expected to help the Department determine which systems have the greatest need closing the technology gap and ensuring every student and teacher has access to a device. They say that the Chromebooks will include touchscreen technology, making them accessible to a wider range of students and allows for easier use by younger students.
“Our educators and families have gone above and beyond to support the academic needs of their children during a challenging year,” said Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez. “The funds will be utilized to purchase much-needed technology to ensure Louisiana students have the tools they need to succeed.”
“We helped place learning devices in the hands of over 20,000 Louisiana children and teachers,” said Louisiana Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder. “This is an investment in our schools that will last well after the pandemic ends.”
The funds, which must be used by the end of the calendar year, stem from reallocated CARES Act dollars, according to LDOE.
“I’m thankful for the relationship we’ve built with our legislators and their leadership during this unprecedented time,” said Dr. Brumley. “We will continue to work together throughout the pandemic and after to achieve greater outcomes for every student.”
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