Gov. Lamont nearing decision on school year, says pandemic will stretch into June; laptops still being donated to CT districts


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With Governor Lamont planning for the Coronavirus pandemic to last into at least June, the governor is taking action to secure 60,000 laptops for high school students in the state.

The partnership for Connecticut is ordering $24 million worth of computers for Connecticut’s neediest districts. Since the governor says the pandemic will likely stretch into June, it’s unclear if those computers will make a difference this school year.

“We’re not stopping. We’re not pausing. We’re continuing in a different way,” Nate Quesnel, East Hartford Superintendent.

It’s a partnership between private philanthropists and the state known as the Partnership for Connecticut. On Tuesday morning, its board unanimously approved a nearly $24 million purchase of 60,000 Dell laptops

The laptops will go to Connecticut students in the 33 lowest-performing districts known as Alliance Districts.

“I love the fact that we are making this big effort to continue education in a new way. Students a new way of learning, teachers a new way of teaching,” Gov. Ned Lamont.

But COVID-19 has created a supply chain issue – The laptops may not arrive until May.

“Most of these kids aren’t going to get anything until the school year is over,” Themis Klarides.

State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona says teachers are already working on summer and fall plans to try to make up for missed time this school year. As of Tuesday, schools are closed through April 20, but it became evident on the conference call that it will likely change.

“We’re going to still have the pandemic into June, so we’ve got to figure out what direction we give our superintendents, teachers and parents regarding the rest of the school year,” Lamont added.

The laptops will not be enough for all students in Alliance Districts. High school students will take priority.

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