SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With less than two weeks until many students start the new school year with distance learning, the race is on to make sure every student has what they need to work from home.
Whether you’re in a district set with computers for every student or not, there are concerns for everyone. Dewey Quinn has three kids and distance learning has been tough.
“It’s a struggle and the kids don’t like it,” said Quinn.
But that just scratches the surface. The California Department of Education estimates districts still need 700,000 computers and 300,000 hotspots in order to meet the needs of every student.
Douglas Knepp, president of the West Sacramento Teachers Association, told CBS13 distance learning will continue being a challenge in his district where there aren’t enough computers to go around for every student and many of the ones they do have are outdated.
“Our commitment is to deliver the best quality instruction whatever situation we’re in and we’re going to do our best to do that,” said Knepp.
Even Elk Grove Unified, a district that did have enough computers to go around, is bracing for a challenge.
“You’re looking at younger grades approximately three hours working synchronously and that’s vastly different than where we were last spring,” said spokesperson Xanthi Pinkerton.
“It’s not just fair to point the finger at districts and say, ‘why don’t you have that technology?’ We need the federal government to step up and send that money to schools,” said Knepp.
The state’s Digital Divide Task Force has a hearing Thursday, July 22 at 1 p.m. where officials are expected to give an update on its progress getting more devices. They’re also expected to announce COVID-19 relief funding for districts.