Everybody Learns Initiative - Closing the Digital Divide
Connecticut’s plan for school reopening in fall 2020, Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together, expects districts to provide robust educational learning options to those students and parents/guardians who choose temporarily to not participate in the in-school program due to individual considerations. Furthermore, in addition to in-person instruction, the reopening plan also expects districts to be prepared for blended learning or fully virtual scenarios that may be necessary based on changing health conditions in the community. Therefore, it is vital that students have access to the requisite device and adequate connectivity in the home to participate in virtual learning.
The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is making available nearly $100 million dollars in federal funds to local school districts through the CARES Act, Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER). The CSDE expects that some of these resources will be directed toward those students for whom devices and/or connectivity may be barriers to full participation in virtual learning. We are now seeking the final quantities needed by your district after accounting for purchases already made/planned through all available local funds including the local CARES Act ESSER funds.
Governor Ned Lamont recently announced that his administration is launching the Everybody Learns initiative to close the digital divide in Connecticut and empower students across the state to learn from home. The CSDE is allocating state-level funding from the CARES Act and working closely with the Office of the Governor to dedicate portions of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund toward the Everybody Learns Initiative and fill any device and/or connectivity gaps that may still remain. Priority in the fulfillment of these gaps will be given to high-need districts, so districts are strongly encouraged to rely on local resources when feasible.