Verizon and Los Angeles Unified to Enable Distance Learning for Hundreds of Thousands More California Students
05/27/2020 | 12:31pm EDT
LOS ANGELES, May 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Los Angeles Unified School District and Verizon announced today they have amended their original agreement* from March of this year to help other school districts in California enable distance learning. The original agreement with Verizon enabled Los Angeles Unified to provide internet access at no cost to students whose families could not otherwise afford it.
The digital divide is very real in urban and rural communities where students do not have the devices and lack the internet access they need to be connected with their school community. This connection has always been important but it’s never been more important than during this pandemic.
Last month, with California Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Verizon announced its support for the State of California Department of Education’s mission to help bridge the digital divide by committing unlimited internet connectivity at a discounted rate for underserved students in California.
“We are grateful to Verizon and LAUSD for their efforts to help our schools close the digital divide for students across the state,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond. “Access to technology is as critical to academic success as a textbook. This development helps move the needle in our efforts to level the playing field for all students, now and in the years ahead.”
“We need to make sure every student has the device and internet access they need to be connected with their school community,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “We’re delighted other students throughout California will be connected with their school communities as a result of this amended agreement between Los Angeles Unified and Verizon.”
“Verizon’s original agreement from March of this year with Los Angeles Unified to enable distance learning for 125,000 low-income children has become the gold standard framework nationally during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Andrés Irlando, Senior Vice President and President, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “We’re thrilled to build on that original agreement with Los Angeles Unified to partner with the State of California to enable distance learning for hundreds of thousands of additional students across California.”
*This agreement is based on an agreement between Verizon and Los Angeles Unified originally entered into on July 1, 2019 and first amended on March 23, 2020.
Los Angeles Unified is the largest school district in California and the second largest in the nation, with nearly 700,000 students. It has 1,386 schools, including traditional campuses, magnets, special education centers, early education centers, adult schools and independent charters. Serving more than 700 square miles, Los Angeles Unified encompasses most of the city of Los Angeles, along with all or portions of 26 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. English and 99 other languages are spoken by Los Angeles Unified students, making it one of the most diverse school districts in the United States.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is celebrating its 20th year as one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $131.9 billion in 2019. The company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its award winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.