Pilot program offers free computers and home internet to California students

School2Home internetSchool2Home is a pilot program rolling out across California that’s designed to reduce the technology gap between rich and poor. It’s the gap that’s also known as the “digital divide.”

The program started in Southern California’s Los Angeles and Riverside county school districts and has now expanded to Northern California’s Oakland Unified School District.

The problem this program solves is obvious: Work in many classes requires home access to computers and high speed broadband internet. Unfortunately, many low income families can’t afford these tools. So how can those children learn the skills they’ll need in an increasingly technological world if they don’t have access to computers and free high-speed internet? How can they succeed in an increasingly digital future? How can they escape poverty in the 21st century if they only learn to use 20th century tools?

But the program doesn’t begin and end with the students. Far from it. Teachers are trained to integrate technology into their classrooms and lessons. And children can’t get their computers until their parents complete the first of three training sessions.

School2Home has set an ambitious goal: To give computers to more than 500 low-performing middle schools and 400,000 students across California.

If you’re wondering how School2Home can afford such an expensive giveaway, the answer is simple. Generous public and private groups such the California Emerging Technology Fund, L.A. Unified, AT&T, Comcast, Google, IBM and Verizon have all made major contributions. For example, AT&T and Verizon are contributing more than $60 million to get the program off the ground.

Although we certainly appreciate the effort and the money, do not confuse AT&T’s and Verizon’s their contribution with magnanimity. They were actually strong-armed into making thw contributions by the California Public Utilities Commission. The PUC ordered the establishment of the California Emerging Technology Fund and mandated the contributions before it would approve the mergers of SBC and AT&T and Verizon and MCI back in 2005. But no matter what the companies’ motivations may have been, they have pitched in enthusiastically.

And how does School2Home define itself? The organization’s website says, “School2Home recognizes the equal importance of the school and home environments as places for learning, and works to enrich student opportunity by creating stronger connections between the two. Its large scale, evidence-based approach, and public-private partnership make it an unprecedented effort, both in California and nationally.”

As we said at the top of this article, School2Home is currently available only in certain test schools in Los Angeles, Riverside and Oakland, California schools. But we’re confident it will be successful and quickly roll out statewide. We can only hope that others states look at their success and roll out similar programs.

We’re behind you 100%, School2Home. And we’re behind the kids 110%.

Please let us know if we at Cheap Internet can do anything to help.

Program information: School2Home

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Comments

  1. sherry says

    hi there , my name is sherry here, and have a 9 yr old daughter who just got transferred back to regular school due to her having Chronic asthma..She was diagnosed when she 5 years old and in the first year of kindegarten. and finally got kindegarten, (2 x’s) plus entered 1st grade and was doing homeschool till 2nd. grade.. and so now she will be going into 3rd. she needs a computer to help with her homework, but we cant actually buy one due to being on a way fixed budget of 285 a nonth,, with that i pay bills and and food and we are also lowincome family as well. My daughter needs to have a one on one tutoring to help with math, and doing reaing as well. and thinking maybe a computer can help her .. What do you suggest..? Or do we actually qualify ? I am not working , and have a hearing diability as well .. tank you if you get back with us ..

  2. LAURA says

    IM A COLLEGE STUDENT WHO HAD 2 YOUNG CHILDREN IM VERY INTERESTED IN FREE INTERNET SO I CAN DO MY ONLINE CLASSES WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT PICKING UP A SIGNAL….. I WOULD LOVE TO AFFORD THE INTERNET BUT I HAVE NO INCOME WHATSOEVER AND BARELY GETTING BY THANK GOD FOR THE ASSISTANCE I GET FROM MEDICAID AND FOOD STAMPS OR I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO… HOW CAN I GET FREE INTERNET OR IS THERE A SUCH THING?

  3. Phillip says

    Do you know of any programs that provide affordable/reduced priced broadband internet to low income individuals, seniors, or disabled persons? It seems the only programs that exist only cater to “families.”

  4. Gina says

    “So let me get this straight: The FCC has bollixed negotiations with various companies that have walked away with sweet “approval and merger deals” that benefit a few executives with fabulous golden parachutes, which obligate them to offer “at cost” or slight profit deals to a “select few” “low income” people. That “low income” group doesn’t include ANY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE, or seniors or damned near anyone, EXCEPT for the class of people who uncontrollably and irresponsibly breeds children they can’t afford to take care of and expects the rest of the citizenry to foot the bill for their basic existence, (which is about the only life these children will ever know because they came out of the gate with the genetic short-straw, being from a parent without the sense to breed responsibly and thus likely of low IQ; doomed to grow up in an impoverished educational void for which computer equipment is likely useless and will be sold for beer/liquor/drugs/cigarettes by mom/dad).So let me get this straight: The FCC has bollixed negotiations with various companies that have walked away with sweet “approval and merger deals” that benefit a few executives with fabulous golden parachutes, which obligate them to offer “at cost” or slight profit deals to a “select few” “low income” people. That “low income” group doesn’t include ANY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE, or seniors or damned near anyone, EXCEPT for the class of people who uncontrollably and irresponsibly breeds children they can’t afford to take care of and expects the rest of the citizenry to foot the bill for their basic existence, (which is about the only life these children will ever know because they came out of the gate with the genetic short-straw, being from a parent without the sense to breed responsibly and thus likely of low IQ; doomed to grow up in an impoverished educational void for which computer equipment is likely useless and will be sold for beer/liquor/drugs/cigarettes by mom/dad).”

    Yep, you got it. There is no incentive for responsible poor people who forgo breeding in favor of quality of life and the environment.

  5. Concerned Citizen says

    So let me get this straight: The FCC has bollixed negotiations with various companies that have walked away with sweet “approval and merger deals” that benefit a few executives with fabulous golden parachutes, which obligate them to offer “at cost” or slight profit deals to a “select few” “low income” people. That “low income” group doesn’t include ANY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE, or seniors or damned near anyone, EXCEPT for the class of people who uncontrollably and irresponsibly breeds children they can’t afford to take care of and expects the rest of the citizenry to foot the bill for their basic existence, (which is about the only life these children will ever know because they came out of the gate with the genetic short-straw, being from a parent without the sense to breed responsibly and thus likely of low IQ; doomed to grow up in an impoverished educational void for which computer equipment is likely useless and will be sold for beer/liquor/drugs/cigarettes by mom/dad).

    To further exacerbate the situation, the FCC has managed to EXCLUDE ALL LOW INCOME PEOPLE WHO ARE LOW INCOME AS THE RESULT OF DISABILITIES AND HANDICAPS. So these people, who had the good common sense to not irresponsibly breed children they couldn’t take care of thus saving the taxpayer a small fortune, ARE CLOSED OUT OF THE FCC’s “allocation” of technology. Well HELL, why would anyone in the government want those damned GIMPS to have access to technology at an affordable prices? They have to save that to pimp votes in largely illegal alien communities; one of the VERY FEW GROUPS that continue to drop babies with little regard of how they will support them. Even the traditional \ly recognized “low income” icon: the black underclass, has moved away from spawning hordes of kids they don’t want to deal with and cannot afford. But the government of the US wants those illegal aliens voting someday….and their illegitimate/anchor baby children from as many daddies as mommy gets paid to deal with, because naturally, just like in European contries, the foundation of marriage before child bearing has become”passe'” (OH, and don’t looked so shocked. I live on the border. I”M BARELY GIVING YOU THE TOP LAYER OF THE FILTHY REALITY. You can count on those semi-bilingual anchor babies running amuck and cutting off heads of rival Hispanic gangs in droves over the next few years, after they drop out of school at staggering record numbers at shockingly young ages)

    So people ensuring the next low IQ underclass survives in hordes get a free toy to sell off for contraband while they send junior off to the freeway to sell oranges, run drugs or generally fall into the stunningly HIGH percentage of “lost cause kids”, while handicapped people and senior citizens are excluded all because they don’t get “free school lunches”. The FCC actually wrote a program directly targeted at a core of illegal alien children across the country; to hell with the taxpayers and the smattering of citizens who might actually fit the criteria, because clearly the program was targeted at the overwhelmingly catholic & Mexican/South American demographic: a demographic that is throwing school performance ratings all out of kilter all over California, in two languages no less. (perhaps that’s a bigger commentary on the failing school system and it’s administrators who have guaranteed failures across all demographics than it is the children of illegals. Time will tell)

    Not to digress: So what exactly do handicapped people have to do to get anyone in government to pay attention to real citizens with real problems, or the elderly that were fighting real wars that actually saved the nation? Go and get knocked up and drop a kid they cant care for? ARE YOU PEOPLE INSANE? The last thing this country needs is a bigger underclass and writing incentives to create that is appalling. What do real citizens who aren’t grabbing free food out of the tax treasury in the form of kiddie lunches have to do to “keep up” with the technology that all your supporting arguments express is your noble cause when in reality there is no means since the narrowly crafted language of eligibility demands a childfor which their adult parent cannot, by your own definition, take care of?

    I WANT AN EXPLANATION. I think all of AMERICA DESERVES AN EXPLANATION FOR THIS HUGE STACK OF ONE SIDED CONFISCATION OF CITIZENS TAX DOLLARS THROUGH EXCESSIVE PHONE FEES WHILE GIVING IT AWAY TO INCOMPETENT / RECKLESS AMERICANS AND QUITE FREQUENTLY ILLEGAL ALIENS BORN INTO A GUARANTEED ABUSIVE ENVIRONMENT BY THE VERY DEFINITION THAT CREATES YOUR “ELIGIBILITY” STANDARDS; “A PARENT THAT CANNOT CARE FOR THEM OF THEIR OWN VOLITION AND ABILITY!” And meanwhile, people with difficulties they cannot avoid such as age or health issues are shut out because they were responsible adults and considered their ability to provide for a child before spawning a child.

    Granted, responsible people fall on hard times, but the overwhelming majority by a hefty percentage is a permanent underclass whose breeding was for no better reason that to secure free housing and a bigger FOOD STAMP/EBT allotment. If you don’t believe that, go and sit in a homeless shelter and watch one of the habituals with an IQ of about 92 act like they hit the lottery when they find out they are having twins by someone they can’t even name. Or someone who came here from here from the bottom caste from India whose homeless career has been funded through petty theft and sleeping with paroled felons becomes ecstatic when she finds herself finally pregnant by one of said felons and can thus get immediate free housing after years of living in doorways on the street. Seriously, the FCC is contributing to creating a nation of ignorant bastard with no future with a lot of votes to sell but without the reason or desire to even bother to participate in the process, a; while ignoring the truly needy and worthy

  6. Dora Baker says

    I’m a single mother, disabled and no longer able to work. My daughter was chosen for National Honor Roll but being in 7th grade the use of a computer and the internet is very important and unfortunately her grade point average dropped a little. We live in San Bernardino County, any idea when this might be approved for us?

  7. Mary says

    I am actively attending college classes and interested in the online classes that are offered through the college I attend, due to my conflicting employment and schooling schedules. Is this program strictly for children in grades K-12 and not offered to struggling poor adult college students?

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