New York City lawmakers demand DOE provide laptops, tablets to all students in need

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Local leaders are demanding New York City’s Department of Education provide laptops and tablets to all students now that classes have switched back to an all-remote model.

In October, 77,000 New York City school students still did not have access to a laptop or tablet in order to do remote learning. At the time, the Department of Education said it was working on it, but over 60,000 are still without the technology.

City Councilman Mark Treyger, who heads the City Council’s Committee on Education, asked DOE Chief Operating Officer Lauren Sisiliano when the remaining students would have a device in their hand.

She says the DOE is working on it, but there are delays.

“The 100,000 devices that we've ordered, and we of course share your commitment to making sure that all of our students have what they need to support remote learning. Those 100,000 deices will be delivered over the next four to five weeks,” she said.

Treyger, a former high school teacher, calls that unacceptable.
He notes thousands of children are missing crucial lessons amid the pandemic because they do not have access to remote learning.

“If my students missed a couple of days of instruction, that was a lot. We're talking about kids with months of interrupted instruction,” he said.

The councilmen says the DOE is failing students, especially those in foster care and those living in the shelter system. He notes they will likely carry the damage for the rest of their lives.

“These are generational impacts there are not temporary impacts. We are losing our kids and we have to do everything possible to help save them and to help meet their needs, immediately,” Treyger said. “That is that's why I am livid, many times with the administration because they're just in denial and they waste precious time and, again I hold Mayor de Blasio directly accountable.”

Representatives from the DOE testified that all principals and teachers have been trained to spot the signs of emotional distress in children and get them the help they need.

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