KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Haslam family is gifting Knox County Schools $900,000 for the families of economically disadvantaged children to be able to purchase insurance on the district’s new student Chromebooks.
Earlier this year, the Knox County Board of Education and Knox County Commission approved a plan to make a Chromebook computer available to each KCS student in grades K-12, starting in August.
While that plan makes Chromebooks available at no cost, families will be given the option to buy insurance for $30. This insurance will offset the cost of repairs or a total loss of the device, which would result in a charge of $200.
Recognizing that some families may find it difficult to pay for insurance, the Haslam family gift will offset the cost of that insurance for Knox County’s neediest families. The gift will be available to all K-12 students in Knox County Schools.
“The Haslam family has always been strong advocates of education and of Knox County Schools in particular,” KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas said. “This gift continues their legacy of supporting our students, and we’re deeply grateful for their generosity.
“By providing insurance for families who otherwise could not afford it, we believe this gift will give students peace of mind to fully utilize their Chromebooks and to enhance their learning.”
The joint gift is being made by Natalie and Jim Haslam; Dee and Jimmy Haslam; former first lady Crissy Haslam and former Gov. Bill Haslam; and Ann Haslam Bailey and Steve Bailey.
“Equal access to education is critical, and this includes the technology tools that help students learn,” the Haslam family said in a statement. “We want to ensure that all Knox County students feel comfortable and confident utilizing the new Chromebooks for enriched learning, and we hope that the coverage of insurance fees will allow all students to consistently utilize their Chromebooks. As a family, we are always humbled to being able to help empower our youth and continue to give them a stronger and equal foundation from which they can achieve.”The Haslam Family
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