Study Puts $3.8 Billion Price Tag on One Device Per California Student

A study estimates how much it would cost for the state to increase its connectivity, staffing and computers.

by TechWire / June 13, 2016

How much would it cost to equip every middle- and high-school student in California with a computing device, connectivity and adequate tech support while on campus?

About $3.8 billion over a span of three years. That's the pricey estimate based on new statewide data in a Public Policy Institute of California report released on Wednesday.

"Ensuring that every middle- and high-school student has a device—an important step toward giving students whose families may not be able to afford devices and/or Internet service full access to digital learning — would require a three-year investment totaling more than $1.2 billion," the report says.

The study, Upgrading Technology Infrastructure in California’s Schools, finds that upgrading connectivity is the least costly need, and staffing is the most costly.

"As more and more schools shift into online testing and online learning, an adequate technology infrastructure is no longer an option," PPIC researcher Niu Gao said. Significant investments are need to close the digital divide, she said.

PPIC presents much more in-depth data in the full report and a video panel discussion available on the institute's website. PPIC also hosted a panel discussion this week to explore the report's findings.

This article was originally published on TechWire.

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