U.S. PIRG: The Right to Repair Could Help Address a Critical Shortage in School Computers

In many places across the United States, school has begun, with much of that schooling actually remote learning. We’ve found out we have a big problem: There are not enough computers for every student stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an AP investigation, America is some 5 million laptops short of what we need.

Whether or not you or your child can access a computer and the internet could mean the difference between getting an education this fall, or not. The stakes have perhaps never been higher for equitable computer access in the U.S. But thanks to disruptions in the supply chain, even though schools and businesses have ordered new computers, they aren’t showing up.

California is short 1 million computers. Denver’s public schools are lacking thousands of computers, while waiting for orders to be fulfilled. Delays are threatening remote learning for school districts in Nevada, and Louisiana. All across the country, schools are scrambling, from Savannah to Austin.

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