SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Distance learning is now possible for more than 7,000 San Diego County families who had little or no internet access before the pandemic.
The County Office of Education has been working for months to get those students online and have plans to help even more.
Before COVID-19 hit, the county estimates one in five families had no internet or were considered “under-connected” by not having a connection strong enough to support distance learning.
Isabel Estrada was one of those students.
“Sometimes it would cut out during class time and I would miss something or have to email my teachers of why it kept cutting out,” said the freshman at Oceanside High School.
The County Office of Education has been working for months to bridge the digital gap. So far, they’ve provided more than 7,000 mobile hotspots to families in need.
Once Isabel’s family got a hot spot she says she felt more confident signing on to class.
“We’re just really grateful because the internet right now, it’s me and my sister so it helps both of us with school,” said Isabel.
At a press conference Thursday, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced $2 million from the general fund will be used to help connect another 4,000 families.
“That digital divide went from something that we needed to address, to something we had to address when our promise of public education moved virtually,” said Fletcher.
The $2 million will be divided among 19 districts identified as having the greatest need. They include the Escondido Union High School District, San Ysidro School District, and the South Bay Union School District.
The county estimates another 45,000 students still have no internet access or are under-connected.
For more information about the county programs, click here.