AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Education has secured internet access and devices for all Maine schoolchildren who were in need.

The effort was launched to help students who didn’t have the tools to participate in online learning after the suspension of classroom-based instruction because of the pandemic.

Gov. Janet Mills and Education Commissioner Pender Makin announced that nearly 14,500 service contracts were obtained through three different service providers.

Another 7,450 devices were ordered for those who already had internet access. Makin said the pandemic drew attention to “extreme inequities” during the educational disruption.

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