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How Have California School Districts Used the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

By Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

The state's school districts have received about $859 million from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), which supports access to internet connectivity and digital devices. Most of these funds have gone to districts with large proportions of Black, Latino, or low-income students, and the ECF dollars have been used more for connectivity than for devices.

blog post

Did Pandemic Aid Narrow the Digital Divide?

By Darriya Starr, Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

As part of a multifaceted package of pandemic assistance, the federal government in 2021 allocated nearly $7 billion to help schools and libraries expand access to digital devices and internet connectivity. We examine what this has meant for digital equity among California students.

event

Bridging California’s Digital Divide

The pandemic highlighted longstanding gaps in reliable internet access and spurred unprecedented investments in broadband. What are the barriers to digital access across California’s diverse communities? How can we leverage recent funding to overcome obstacles and ensure digital equity? Join us for a multi-day conference about these critical issues.

Report

District Spending of One-Time Funds for Educational Recovery

By Julien Lafortune, Laura Hill, Niu Gao, Joseph Herrera ...

To address COVID-19 disruptions to education, federal and state programs directed billions in stimulus aid to K–12 schools. These programs allocated greater funding to lower-income and high-need districts—and California districts applied their early funds to health, safety, and technology. More recently, spending has prioritized learning recovery.

Fact Sheet

California’s Digital Divide

By Darriya Starr, Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

Access to broadband and digital devices has grown in recent years, although gaps in access persist, especially among low-income households. Recent federal and state funding to build out infrastructure and provide subsidies may help shrink the digital divide—but not all eligible households have enrolled in federal programs that help cover broadband costs.

Report

Achieving Universal Broadband in California

By Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao, Darriya Starr, Amy Gong Liu

In 2021, California invested over $6 billion to expand broadband infrastructure, address affordability, and promote digital literacy. This report examines barriers to installing broadband in underserved communities and offers recommendations as the state aims to close the digital divide.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Achieving Universal Broadband in California

By Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao, Darriya Starr, Amy Gong Liu

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred historic federal and state investments in broadband. Achieving universal broadband in California will require coordinated efforts among service providers, municipalities, and community organizations to overcome existing barriers and leverage funding opportunities.

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