As Hewlett-Packard Can’t Deliver Computers on Time, Cleveland School District Sent Scrambling to Find 9,000 New Laptops in Two Weeks
The Cleveland school district begins the fall semester — entirely online — in two weeks, and in the 11th hour, it heard from a major supplier that it would not be able to give every student their own laptop by then.
The Hewlett-Packard Company reneged on a commitment to provide 9,000 laptops by Sept. 8, the first day of the new academic year, and now the infuriated school district is rushing to find computers for students before then.
The district canceled the $4.7 million order last week after Hewlett-Packard warned that it could not provide laptops until October, which would have left thousands of the district’s students challenged to access their classes for at least a month. The exact number of students who could be left without any computers and how many will have to use old ones or share devices with family members are still unclear.
Similar delays are happening across the country, with schools increasingly moving classes online as COVID-19 continues to roil states. Manufacturers can’t keep pace with increased demand for internet devices that Hewlett-Packard estimates is 10 times as high as usual.