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Michelson 20MM Joins California Department of Education to Identify Solutions to Close the Digital Divide
The California Department of Education estimates that nearly a half-million students still lack either a device to attend school online, network access to their classroom, or both. On February 2, 2021, Michelson 20MM founder and co-chair, Dr. Gary K. Michelson, joined California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to announce a new effort to address the crisis: the California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge.
At campuses across California, student basic needs centers emerged as safe havens and beacons of hope for students. Basic needs centers enable students with the most pressing needs to obtain food and other life necessities, access housing programs, develop financial literacy skills, ensure that financial aid is maximized, and leverage other resources including CalFresh.
With support from the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) Success Center and funded in part by a Michelson 20MM Foundation Spark Grant, Executive Vice Chancellor for Educational Services and Support Marty Alvarado will lead efforts to explore current challenges and barriers that prevent students from accessing the full range of available public benefits to which they are entitled to meet their basic needs.
Through the Michelson Spark Grant, the Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN) will establish a Let’s Go to College CA student fellowship that will address basic needs and the non-tuition costs of college.
Join Michelson 20MM on February 25th for the next Connecting California event: Build Back Better: Digital Equity in the Biden-Harris Administration. Following President Biden’s pledge to make digital equity a cornerstone of his administration, our panel will share their insights on the government’s approach to technology policy.
College affordability directly impacts completion rates. Central to the Michelson 20MM Foundation’s Student Basic Needs initiative is ensuring the true cost of college is understood and addressed through permanent funding streams.