Latinos For Education launch campaign urging Massachusetts State leaders to equip all Latino students with tech devices

Latinos For Education launch campaign urging Massachusetts State leaders to equip all Latino students with tech devices

In letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), over 150 organizations urge DESE to collect and report data on access to technology


As students across Massachusetts resume virtual learning, Latinos for Education – the first Latino-founded and led national organization dedicated to creating readership pathways for Latinos in education – launched a statewide campaign to ensure that very Latino student in the commonwealth has universal access to technology and connectivity. Today, over 150 organizations joined Latinos for Education in issuing a letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education urging them to work with the legislature and local districts to deploy adequate resources that will ensure that Latino students and families have equitable access to participate in distance learning.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, our education system disproportionately underserved Latino students and families. The pandemic has only exacerbated these inequities, including the persistent digital divide which makes everything from participating in virtual learning to accessing resources nearly impossible for Latino families,” said Lorena Lopera, Executive Director, Massachusetts at Latinos for Education. “State leaders need to get serious about prioritizing the education of Latino students, and that requires closing the digital divide so our students can learn and thrive.”

In the letter, Latinos for Education and the multi-sector coalition leaders are specifically calling on DESE to mandate that all school districts collect and publicly report data on access to technology, and that the data be disaggregated by race. This critical data will allow stakeholders to have a complete understanding of where intervention and additional resources are necessary to support equitable student learning.

Last month, Latinos for Education released a groundbreaking report, Latino Education in the Time of COVID: The Pandemic’s Unique Impact on Latino Students and Families in Massachusetts, where access to technology and connectivity was among the resources Latino parents in Massachusetts identified they needed most to support their child’s education. In that report, 46 percent of Latino families expressed concern that their children are disproportionately impacted by the learning loss that has occurred during COVID-19.

“For Latino families, access to technology will not only help their children access distance learning, but access mental health, telehealth, and job training services that are available virtually during this pandemic” said Lopera. “These are the types of investments that pay off in the long-run for Latino families, and the rest of Massachusetts.”

The Letter was endorsed by elected officials, community leaders and multi-sector organizations from across the commonwealth. They include six members of the Boston City Council; the Vice President of the Chelsea City Council, Judith Garcia; the Worcester Chamber of Commerce; the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce; and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition.

To learn more about this campaign or access the official letter sent to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, please see the attached document.

Latinos for Education is a Boston-based, national education non-profit organization focused on developing, placing, and connecting essential Latino talent in the education sector. The organization is mobilizing a network of skilled education leaders to ensure the voice of students and families is not only heard but factored into decision-making in schools, communities and education institutions throughout the U.S. The organization also ensures Latino education professionals have access to a nationwide network of peers as well as career and professional development opportunities across the country through the members-only EdCentro network.