A new public-private partnership called Partnership for a ConnectedMN has formed to improve access to technology and internet across Minnesota. The partners include the Office of the Governor, Best Buy, Comcast, Blandin Foundation, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Business Partnership. Other firms have contributed funding. The P3's targets include indigenous and students of color, those in low-income families and those in rural parts of the state.
As we draw closer to the start of the school year in the midst of the COVID pandemic, easing access to less-advantaged students is incredibly important. Governments and school districts are unlikely to be able to do so on their own - they have too many other demands and they are already losing revenues.
This sort of partnership model is the only way I can think of in these times to get these vital services quickly to those most in need. Congrats to Partnership for a ConnectedMN - and what sorts of services might the P3 model be able to support in your community?
"Access denied is opportunity denied," said Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement for Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation. "It will require partnership to make sure that every student, in every corner of every county, has access to the knowledge, learning and services for their success."