The closure of Los Angeles Unified Schools due to the coronavirus emergency will be extended through May 1, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday.

At a press conference, the superintendent also said the district has entered a deal with Verizon, to provide free internet access to students and families who need it. The Los Angeles Times reported that Beutner has authorized $100 million in spending on technology to help with online learning. The district is working on a plan to distribute more computers to students.

“This is an unprecedented commitment, but a necessary one,” Beutner said. “Many of our families are struggling to make ends meet and cannot afford to do this on their own – but their children deserve the same opportunity those in more affluent communities have.”

In a message posted on Twitter, the superintendent said that work plans for March 30 to April 3 would be distributed to students this week. 

The district announced that Beutner would deliver a message to the “school community”  via teleconference Monday morning, but the address was cut short after a few minutes because of technical difficulties.

Beutner’s announcement came on the second week of a two-week closure announced by the district on March 16, to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. Over the weekend, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools recommended that all county school districts remain closed until May 5.

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