Some U.S. families lack technology needed for online learning during coronavirus pandemic

Families struggle with online learning during coronavirus

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 8:26 AM EDT

As millions of students across the country stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic, some families are struggling to adjust, and some don't have the technology needed for online learning. School closures in 37 states affect more than 37 million kindergarteners through 12th graders.

In New York City, where more than a million students go to public schools, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said some 300,000 kids don't have electronic devices or internet access at home. 

"We ordered hotspots. We've teamed with Apple. We've bought laptops. We're going to have laptops coming in at about 25,000 a day," he said. 

Another major concern in New York City is making sure students don't go hungry. More than 70% live in poverty, so free breakfast and lunch is being offered at all public schools.

"It's two meals I don't have to provide, which is two meals I can provide another day," one parent said.

In Miami, Mary Williams is racing to find child care for the rest of the week and beyond.

"Thank God I was off today and was able to come out here and get them something to eat, but for the rest of the week I won't know," Williams said.

In New Jersey, remote teaching started Monday for several districts. Montclair Public Schools deployed more than 300 Chromebooks to families who needed them.

Substitute teacher Trisha Angelillo, who has four kids ranging from preschool to seventh grade, told CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver that their school said the closure will be for two weeks, but she's prepared for it to be longer.

"I'm assuming a month, and I think the hope is this week we get into a rhythm," she said. 

Asked how overwhelmed she is feeling, Angelillo said, "It's a lot, I think. My kids can see it. I can feel it."