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Mayor Cooper: Metro will spend millions in stimulus funding on laptops for school children


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Mayor John Cooper will ask the Metro Council to spend 20 percent of the city’s coronavirus stimulus money on new computers for every child in Nashville schools.

Cooper told reporters during a press briefing Monday morning that roughly one Metro student in six doesn’t have a personal computer or internet access. He says that puts some 17,000 Nashville children at a distinct educational disadvantage as coronavirus forces the adoption of remote learning.

Mayor Cooper says he’ll ask Metro Council for permission to purchase 90,000 Dell laptops at a cost of $24 million. The mayor also intends to purchase thousands of internet hot spots for children who don’t have web access.

The mayor wants to pay for the computers out of the $121 million dollars in federal pandemic stimulus appropriated to the city by Congress earlier this year.

Speaking to reporters during the same press briefing, Metro Public Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle thanked the mayor for his support. She noted that it was pasted time for Nashville to provide a computer for every student.

Battle went on to promise that Nashville schools will his fall be prepared to “provide an excellent education for every student regardless whether we are in our schools or learning remotely.”