The original agreement with Verizon enabled Los Angeles Unified to provide internet access at no cost to students whose families could not otherwise afford it.
The digital divide is very real in urban and rural communities where students do not have the devices and lack the internet access they need to be connected with their school community. This connection has always been important but it’s never been more important than during this pandemic.
Last month, with California Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Verizon announced its support for the State of California Department of Education’s mission to help bridge the digital divide by committing unlimited internet connectivity at a discounted rate for underserved students in California.
“We are grateful to Verizon and LAUSD for their efforts to help our schools close the digital divide for students across the state,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond. “Access to technology is as critical to academic success as a textbook. This development helps move the needle in our efforts to level the playing field for all students, now and in the years ahead.”
“We need to make sure every student has the device and internet access they need to be connected with their school community,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “We’re delighted other students throughout California will be connected with their school communities as a result of this amended agreement between Los Angeles Unified and Verizon.”
“Verizon’s original agreement from March of this year with Los Angeles Unified to enable distance learning for 125,000 low-income children has become the gold standard framework nationally during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Andrés Irlando, Senior Vice President and President, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “We’re thrilled to build on that original agreement with Los Angeles Unified to partner with the State of California to enable distance learning for hundreds of thousands of additional students across California.”