Distance Learning and our Education System/Digital Divide

Distance Learning to support students is a key component for the state. Equity of access to computers internet access, and all equipment and access to online learning etc.  Working hard to build on 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.  Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft have donated approximately 70,000 units and they will start being given out the first week of May.  Also during the first week of May, Google is converting Sacramento school buses into hot spots.  Drivers will take them around the city to strategic locations for the students to use.  If this pilot is successful it will quickly be expanded around the state. 

This project is being driven by the lack of resources for distance learning being made available for all children. Too many kids in CA, 1 in 5 don’t have the connectivity or device to get the access they need for distance learning. 50% of all and 42% of minorities of color don’t have access to the hardware and connectivity. Commitments that will allow 70,000 students to receive hardware this week to enable them to get online access. 

Tony Thurman, Superintendent of Schools and 1st partner, Jennifer Newsom built partnerships with private and public entities to bring the program forward to collect laptops, iPad, etc.  they created a call to action for Me to We in CA for working through all this.  Starting today, Tony Thurman and State Senator Connie Leyva will be co-chairing a task force to help gain student access to internet services.  The goal is to close the digital divide in our educational system.  Also on the committee are representatives from the PUC, Bob Osborne (PUC has committed $25mil), Apple, Google, and Microsoft, plus members of the State School Board and other elected officials.

CA Deaths due to COVID-19

Yesterday, California 42 people died and to date 1, 208 have been lost due to the Covid19 virus.  Currently, there is a 1.9% increase in hospitalization, while the numbers appear to be flattening, there continues to be a rise in cases in spots throughout the state.  The ICU number is fluctuating with a 2.8% increase. While the numbers appear to be flattening, we can’t address reopening the state, when the numbers have not gone down. Wednesday will review the 6 key parts of the transition into the new phase of the management of the pandemic. Re-opening of the state will be based upon health data and facts, not political fear. 

Governor Newsom will Address 6 Tracking Points on 4-22-20

Wednesday will be a review of the 6 points, testing, tracing, tracking, isolation and quarantine in the briefing. Stay at home orders remain in effect.  Tulare, Fresno, Kern, Riverside counties are seeing increases in cases.  On Friday, skilled nursing facilities, who have more than 6 patients will be included in the listing of the number of deaths per facility.  This is to be used for tracing, tracking, testing and quarantine of the COVID-19 virus.  Want to test 25K by end of the month for the virus.  Bringing it all down to the county level and support at the counties.

Questions from the Audience

Ventura County – reduced restrictions, the state was consulted, opening beaches and golf courses.  There is a cap on far back a county can go on restrictions.

SLO – sent a letter to Gov. to open the local economy (localism). Denied, at this point and reminded them we are one state.  There will be a process based on health, science, and data.

Undocumented workers – process for them to collect funds, $500 per individual and $1000 per family, and done to protect families privacy.

COVID-19 along racial lines -focus on disparities in general.  Define the areas, strategies for the specific needs group. 

Key response to question by a reporter on the protests and returning to work in the state. Governor made it clear he’s focused on how the state will reopen.

It does not want to open too soon.  China has had to close again, same with Singapore.  We need to make sure we are safe first, regardless of protests.



Monday, April 20, 2020







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