On April 11, Governor Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that 32,614 devices are being distributed to 34 mostly small, rural school districts throughout Florida and the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School. This was made possible through a partnership with the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC), Northeast Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC) and Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC), and three additional school districts that are not members of a consortium.
“Today’s announcement speaks volumes about how the Department of Education, our school districts and our teachers are coming together to ensure Florida students have the resources they need to continue their education through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Governor DeSantis. “Florida is truly raising the bar for distance learning.”
When the COVID-19 crisis indicated the need for distance learning, the Department proactively began calling device suppliers throughout Florida and reaching out to Florida’s rural county school district consortia to identify both available supply and demand.
Small, rural districts with large percentages of low-income children have exceptional challenges in implementing distance learning. Putting these machines in the hands of students will allow us to continue to serve them and equip them for success. As Superintendent Rick Surrency of Putnam County said, “This is a real game changer.”