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November 24
2003 - Ruth Newhall, longtime co-owner/editor of The Signal, dies in Berkeley [story]
Ruth Newhall


SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Friday that his Closing the Digital Divide Task Force is asking the leaders of major internet service providers to provide free internet access to all of California’s students.

Executives from these companies will be asked to speak to their commitment to the state’s most vulnerable students and families at the next task force meeting on Monday, May 4 at 4 p.m., which will be streamed live online.

Thurmond created the task force, co-chaired by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), to help close the technological gaps that put millions of students—including those living in remote, rural areas and students living in poverty—at a further academic disadvantage.

Executives from all major service providers, including AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, have been invited to the meeting, which will be live-streamed on the CDE Facebook page.

“California has already come together and stepped up in a big way to provide donations of hotspots, laptops, and other devices to help students access distance learning. But without reliable internet access, too many students are missing out on a high-quality and meaningful education and the ability to connect to their teachers,” Thurmond said. “Going forward, we need to focus on efforts to improve internet access in order to close opportunity and achievement gaps for all California’s students—not just during this public health crisis, but once and for all.”

The Closing the Digital Divide Task Force is working to help facilitate donations, create more publicity, and cast a bigger spotlight on those who can help.

Additional task force members include Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa).

During its first meeting on April 20, the task force heard from cross-sector partners about ways they are working together to strengthen distance learning efforts and close technology gaps for millions of students. The task force also received an update on the CDE’s partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission to distribute a total of $30 million to support internet connectivity as well as updates from Google and Amazon about their donations of thousands of devices and hotspots for students.

Thurmond and task force members will continue to meet and use the information and feedback gathered to create a formal plan for closing the digital divide, including timelines, budgetary considerations, and necessary legislative action steps.

The CDE has also partnered with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDE Foundation), the private nonprofit partner of the CDE since 2011, to create the California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund. The fund is a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, CDE, and CDE Foundation.

Individual donations may be made at the CBDD Fund page, and corporate and institutional donors may contact Mary Nicely at mnicely@cde.ca.gov.

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Friday, Nov 20, 2020
The families of Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell, the two students who died during the Saugus High School shooting filed wrongful death lawsuits Monday against the William S. Hart Union High School District.
Friday, Nov 20, 2020
The Newhall School District has decided to allow preschool reopenings, giving their preschool program director the green light to reopen three preschool sites.
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Santa Clarita education officials from the Newhall School District said Thursday they’re taking “an abundance of caution” after multiple COVID-19 diagnoses were linked to the district office, on the corner of Orchard Village Road and Wiley Canyon Road.
Thursday, Nov 19, 2020
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendations to name Dr. Juliet Fine as the new principal of Academy of the Canyons (AOC) and Nina Zamora as the principal of Bowman High School.
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The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting virtually Wednesday, Nov. 18, beginning with a closed session at 6:00 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 7:00 p.m.

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