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Coronavirus Latest: Baltimore City Gives $3 Million To City Schools To Close Digital Gap

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore Mayor Jack Young transferred $3 million from the city's funds to city schools to help close the digital learning gap for the students.

This comes as city schools have remained closed since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"As long as I've been in public service um I truly believe that's what this job is all about serving the public. I've always had two guiding principles of constituent service, and an unwavering commitment to children," Young said.


"I thank the council for moving swiftly to pass legislation to allow this one-time funding for an essential need," Young added.

The schools used their own budget to purchase 11,000 Chromebooks to help students access virtual learning, but there was still a gap.

"With that, we still fell far short of where our target is, which is making sure that all families and all students have access," said City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises. "So, with that context, the mayor's announcement today is a welcome addition, a welcome boost. I want to thank the leadership of Mayor Young, of our city council president, of our city council really stepping forward and providing this additional money."

The money will help the schools purchase 3,500 more Chromebooks and also provide families with devices who have challenges accessing broadband internet.

"This is not a minor investment, and it is one that I am pleased and thrilled, on behalf of all of Baltimore City students, their families, our teachers to say thank you so much for Baltimore City leadership for really stepping up," Santelises added.

"This is about a city that faced a profound crisis that came together and put the needs of children," said Councilman Zeke Cohen. "Above politics, and I think it shows a lot of maturity and leadership on the part of the mayor, the President, the council, all of us working together, that we were able to get this done, and make what is truly a historic commitment to closing the digital divide."

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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