In response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement on school re-openings, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement calling on corporations and technology businesses to help bridge the digital divide:

“I applaud the Governor’s decision to insist that counties reduce the rate of community transmission before schools re-open for in-person classroom learning because it is the right call for LA County. Students should continue to learn from home while COVID-19 cases are on the rise. But to facilitate effective distance-learning, they need the appropriate equipment. The digital divide that existed before this pandemic has now exacerbated this disparity. Students of color, those from low-income families, students with disabilities, limited English-speakers, students experiencing homelessness, and students in foster care lack the appropriate technology to adequately participate in distance-learning. In many cases, they either lack Internet access or the device itself – often both. This inequity will have lasting consequences for all of us, if ignored and unaddressed.

“While Gov. Newsom has allocated funds to help close this digital divide, our students need more support from private companies with the ability to donate devices, Internet hot spots, and other essential supplies. I urge them to work with school districts throughout LA County that are in need of these critical resources. My office is happy to facilitate these generous donations to ensure that no student experiences learning-loss due to a lack of equipment.”

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov