Why students can’t get laptops (subscription)
Most students in the U.S. have been back to school for over a month. But many remote learners face a basic challenge: They don’t have computers to attend online classes.
“Not everybody is financially stable enough to buy laptops,” said Samantha Moore, whose four school-age kids took turns using an iPad provided by the school district in Guilford County, North Carolina, last year. “I can’t just go out and buy four computers.”
That shortage is not for lack of planning. This summer, Guilford spent more than $27 million to order 66,000 computers and tablets for students. But the pandemic surge in demand for laptops has created monthslong shipment delays worldwide. Schools that waited to place orders — often because they were struggling to make ends meet — lost out to districts with deeper pockets.