When the pandemic started just over two years ago, it soon became obvious districts nationwide would need to give students laptops and internet access for remote learning. That turned into a massive undertaking for districts like Chicago Public Schools with hundreds of thousands of students without digital connectivity.CPS built its inventory of devices over time with another significant purchase this past winter, and we monitored those efforts. This week, though, my colleague Frank Main took on the task of laying out another challenge CPS has faced
: keeping track of that tech.
His reporting showed 210,000 laptops were distributed to CPS students by June 2021 to maintain remote learning and bridge the digital divide. But nearly a fifth of those have now been lost — nearly 40,000.
Like with any social support program, losses can be expected and accounted for while knowing the effort is benefiting the greater good — in this case children’s access to education. It’s still interesting to see those numbers laid out, particularly after new purchases just in the past two years. The district certainly will be hoping it can keep better track of its devices to cut the need for replacements year after year.
Check out those stories and more below.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
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