Free 24/7 online tutoring for CA students; $254M grant to improve libraries, Gov. Newsom announces

"I think it's a game changer."

ByLena Howland KFSN logo
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Free 24/7 online tutoring for CA students, Gov. Newsom says
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Gov. Gavin Newsom announces a new initiative for free 24/7 online tutoring for California students and a $254 million grant to improve libraries.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California students can now get free 24/7 online tutoring and homework help all because of a new initiative Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday.

The initiative also provides a $254 million grant to renovate public libraries across the state.

Students can go to the state website or any of the state's public library websites, and get online tutoring or live help with homework any time of the day.

Students and parents will find a section where you can get in touch with a live one-on-one tutor.

"I think it's a game changer, I really am just excited to see that students, K-12, anybody has access to the online tutoring," Maureen Scharberg, the Dean of Academic Programs and Services for Cal State East Bay said.

While Scharberg does still worry about everyone having equal access to internet, she's expecting this to make a big difference.

"As an educator, what I do not want from my students is sort of that, 'oh, I've gotta ask a question but it's 10 o'clock at night and I might forget, I want to be able to get online and get my answer addressed or get help on this certain subject right away,'" she said.

Dr. Nicole Priestly, the Head of Curriculum and Instruction at the San Francisco Unified School District says, from an equity perspective, this will level the playing field for every student.

"I think that this tutoring service provided by the governor does that, for the students who need it most and it gives them an opportunity they may not have had otherwise," Priestly said.

The pilot program offers help in Math, Language Arts, and other core K-12 subjects in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, Gov. Newsom said in the press release.

And while Priestly said the pandemic disproportionately impacted some of their families, this free tool helps serve their goal of providing the most support possible.

"This just really expands the learning opportunity, this is really in line with what we know is effective for students. this is a strategy that supports students' learning, supports acceleration, engages students at a different level, keeping them in school and really connected to learning," Priestly said.

There's no age limit to who can use the service. Adult learners can also access writing assistance, citizenship resources and other tools, Gov. Newsom's office said.

The funding is part of the Building Forward Library Improvement Grant Program. The money is going to renovate and improve library facilities in 172 cities across 34 counties, including the libraries in Dinuba, Dos Palos, Hanford, Lemoore, North Fork, Orosi and Porterville.