Bridging the Digital Divide

Learning with the help of technology

Bridging the Digital Divide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Courtney Reed, creed@laalliance.org

Alliance is the Beneficiary of a New Tech Community Initiative to Bridge the Digital Divide Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, the largest network of public charter schools in Los Angeles, receives funding to provide at-home internet access to hundreds of families amidst the pandemic.

 

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September 30 , 2020 – Los Angeles – Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a network of 28 high-performing public charter schools serving 13,000 scholars in and around Los Angeles, proudly announced today that it is the beneficiary of a new philanthropic initiative, LA Tech Cares, that is focused on closing the digital divide for underserved youth and families across the Los Angeles area.

Nearly 20 percent of California students, about 1.2 million, lack high-speed internet or a computing device at home, according to State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. Residents without internet access are disproportionately low-income, in rural areas, and/or Black or Latino, according to a 2019 study from the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research non-profit.

LA Tech Cares was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to address urgent internet access and technology needs that low-income students and families are facing. The initiative was co-founded by three investors, entrepreneurs, and education advocates: Kwanza Jones, Brett Brewer, and Brian Lee.

“Education is for everyone… regardless of your ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or circumstance,” said Kwanza Jones. “For some students, school is the only place where they have access to teachers, tutors, and technology. When the doors to schools closed, access to education slowed. That’s why we founded LA Tech Cares. We’re giving a much-needed boost. For today’s students, internet access matters. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Period.”

LA Tech Cares has received over $100,000 to date and is using these funds to provide at-home internet access to up to 800 scholars and families at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.

“We are proud that Alliance gives each of our scholars a laptop or tablet, but there is still a significant gap for many families who lack basic internet access,” said Dan Katzir, Alliance’s CEO. “For them, the monthly cost of a WiFi connection that so many of us take for granted is out of reach. With support from LA Tech Cares, we can deliver WiFi hotspots and connect our scholars to a world-class education at a modest cost.”

LA Tech Cares hopes to create a model of philanthropy that is powered by the technology community. “The pandemic has laid bare the digital divide, especially in low-income communities,” said Brett Brewer. We believe the tech community has a unique responsibility to step up and lead. Providing at-home internet access, which is essential for learning right now, is one crucial way that we can meet the needs of this moment.”

About LA Tech Cares
To learn more, visit the LA Tech Cares website at https://latechcares.org/ About Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Alliance College-Ready Public Schools was founded 16 years ago on the belief that all children – regardless of ZIP code, income, ability, or background – are capable of achieving at high levels. Alliance is one of the largest and most successful non-profit public charter school networks in the nation, operating 28 high-performing, tuition-free middle and high schools in Los Angeles communities that are systemically oppressed.

Alliance has a proven record of success for our 13,000 scholars and 14,000 alumni, 97% of whom are scholars of color. Though 93% of our incoming 6th graders enter Alliance reading below grade level, 95% percent of Alliance scholars have graduated from high school and been accepted to college, 73% to a four-year university. Our schools have been recognized among the best in the state and nation by the U.S. Department of Education, the California Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report, and the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education. To learn more, visit the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools website at https://www.laalliance.org/

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