The Lamont administration has announced a $43.5 million investment designed to strengthen the remote learning environment for students and teachers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Everybody Learns initiative includes the purchase of 50,000 laptops, 200 public hotspots, and at-home internet installation for 60,000 students.

Gov. Ned Lamont said the program will help close the digital divide and provide remote learning solutions for K-12 students across Connecticut. 

“We’re making one of the biggest commitments in the country to technology for students anywhere,” he said.

“It’s not just about this next semester, I think it’s about how we change education going forward.”

Financial support for the program will come from the federal CARES Act funding, as well as state emergency education funds. 

The program is also being backed by private businesses around the state, including Altice USA, Charter Communications, and Comcast.

Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner David Lehman said the initiative will have a direct impact on the state's economy.

“Education remains a priority for Connecticut residents and businesses alike because of its direct impact on the economic development of the state," he said.

"Our public schools regularly rank among the best in the country and our investment in this program highlights our commitment to helping our students succeed.”

ReadyCT executive director Shannon Marimón applauded the initiative. 

“We’re talking to many school districts and education stakeholders, and no matter how we move forward, students will experience some sort of remote learning this fall and into the year ahead,” she said.

"Putting resources behind this is essential to ensure all public school students in Connecticut can have access to high-quality learning anytime, anywhere in any crisis, including COVID-19."