During this unprecedented time for San Diego County’s 500,000+ students and families, CFF recognizes the need for our community to come together to provide urgent support to those struggling with the impact of COVID-19. CFF announces the launch of a new COVID-19 Public Education Response Fund to support the San Diego County Office of Education and our 42 public school districts in addressing the digital equity gap that is halting access to education for tens of thousands of students in the wake of COVID-19.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, CFF conducted a needs assessment and identified digital equity as a top issue facing low and middle income families with K-12 students. CFF estimates that there are approximately 100,000 students in San Diego County (⅕ of our public school student population) that lack access to the internet at home or are under-connected. Some districts reported up to 40% of their student populations lacking access to connectivity at home, as well as a significant need for devices and headsets. This problem is exacerbated among our County’s most vulnerable student populations including those who are in foster care, experiencing homelessness, and in need of special education services. Digital distance learning for too many students isn’t just challenging — but impossible.
CFF believes every student should have full access to the broadband and devices they need to continue their education from their home. This digital equity gap, worsened by the economic impact of the pandemic, will be addressed by a new COVID-19 Public Education Response Fund. The goal of the fund is to rapidly deploy financial assistance and products to districts to help students in need. The fund will specifically address urgent digital equity needs by:
- Providing mobile hotspots, locked down phone hotspots, devices, and headsets to students in need
- Providing textbooks to students as a bridge until we can get students online
- Supporting low-cost broadband enrollment by qualifying students
- Working with internet providers to establish long-term connectivity sustainability for students, especially for students beyond the reach of cell towers
CFF asks the community to support digital equity by making a contribution towards efforts to provide connectivity and devices to students in need. Your support will allow instruction and learning to continue for all students throughout this difficult time.
Digital equity support will be distributed to school districts based on need, throughout the County. If you would like to target a donation of $250 or more to a specific location in our community, please do not hesitate to email us. Also, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or interest in partnership.
About the CFF COVID-19 Public Education Response Fund:
This response fund is hosted and administered by the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) in collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and our 42 school districts. The mission of CFF is to unite business, education, and community leaders in creating innovative learning environments in San Diego public schools that prepare our students to thrive in a global, competitive society. CFF is an extension of SDCOE and is known for being the convener of business, community, and educational leaders around innovation in education. Moreover, CFF is a catalyst and champion for the creation of learning programs that apply proven business and technology-based practices in the school setting. CFF is also a trusted resource for our school districts, and a thought leader on innovation in the classroom.