Governor Walz Announces Partnership to Help Support Technology Needs For Minnesota Students
Governor Tim Walz announced a public-private partnership with philanthropic and business leaders that will help to support Minnesota students by providing technology devices and internet access.
ConnectedMN’s goal is to bring technology and internet access to students across the state, especially communities most in need before the upcoming school year. Some of the those communities include, Indigenous students and students of color, students from low-income families, and families residing in rural Minnesota.
The partnership for ConnectedMN is led by Best Buy, Comcast, Blandin Foundation, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and the Minnesota Business Partnership, in collaboration with the State of Minnesota.
“I’m grateful to see Minnesota companies step up and help meet the needs of students,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We need to work together as individuals, state agencies, private companies, and schools to face the opportunity gap and make sure that Minnesota is the best state for each and every child to grow up and receive the best education possible.”
“As the parent of a seven-year old, we endured our share of triumphs and challenges with distance learning this past spring,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Those challenges are exacerbated for low-income families, Indigenous families and families of color, and families in Greater Minnesota who may not have access to technology that meets their work and learning needs. Whatever school looks like this fall, this partnership will help us fill in the gaps.”
“As someone who grew up in rural Minnesota in a family without many resources, I am aware of how important this effort is. Without it, far too many of our state’s students will be left behind as we face an uncertain school year, more reliant than ever on the tools and resources necessary to learn remotely,” said Best Buy CEO Corie Barry. “As a founding partner, we are pleased to work with the Governor and other organizations to truly ‘connect Minnesota’ and I call upon my fellow CEOs to engage however they and their business are able.”
The Governor has prioritized the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) dollars to meet the challenges of technology and connectivity, with approximately $14 million earmarked for districts to prioritize technology devices and internet access.