Legislation to provide low-income students with surplus computers passed the North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday, creating new opportunities for disadvantaged kids across the state to access digital resources and connect to online learning.
Senate Bill 312 Surplus Computer for Low-Income Students, sponsored by Sens. Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg), Andrew Brock (R- Davie) and Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), is identical to a House proposal by Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln).
"This is something that will impact the lives of students across the state," Rep. Saine said Thursday.
Rep. Saine is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Information Technology. He has led student computer coding and digital resources initiatives throughout the 2017 session and spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor:
"This will allow our surplus property agency to redirect computers to nonprofits that refurbish those machines, wipe them clean, and redistribute them back to kids in low-income households. They'll have access to the same computers many other students already enjoy."
"This will benefit students across the state by leveling the playing field and helping more kids have an opportunity to access digital resources."
Senate Bill 312 will be sent to the governor for final approval.