A sizable donation by tech billionaire Elon Musk will provide Flint Community Schools with the funds to purchase laptops for all seventh and eighth-grade students in the district.
The $423,600 donation by the Elon Musk Foundation announced at Wednesday night’s school board meeting allows the district to buy Chromebooks for the middle school students as they move into the former Flint Northern High School as part of a secondary school restructuring plan.
“We will begin this winter with our current seventh graders moving into eighth grade and how they use that technology and our current sixth graders and how they use that technology (moving into seventh grade),” said Derrick Lopez, superintendent of Flint schools. “Then they will be able to take them home and use them as an instructional tool so that is power in and of itself.”
The restructuring plan approved by the board includes moving seventh and eighth-grade students into the Northern building in the 2019-2020 school year, followed by ninth-grade students in 2020. The C.S. Mott Foundation has also donated $300,000 to revise and modify middle school curriculum instructional practices including The Algebra Project, Young People’s Project and Project Lead the Way.