'It's like a slap in the face': Chromebooks, WiFi devices still haven't arrived for some Dolton students

Nearly a month into the 2020-2021 school year, and a local district still hasn't provided tablets for students to learn.

To complicate matters, the district is only offering e-learning, which is leaving many students in the dark. 

Chromebooks are on order for District 149 students, but they won't arrive until two months into the school year. 


"We are paying our taxes where’s the money going, where are our Chromebooks? It’s like a slap in the face,” said Mercedes Francisco, mother of three children, two of whom need Chromebooks.

Mercedes Francisco is on fire about the Dolton District's lack of planning for this school year. 

"It takes technology to have e-learning. This isn't technology. This is what my boys have, they have packets and this is what they are working from,” said Francisco.

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The paper packets would be the same thing a child might receive if they took a sick day. 

School Board Member Wilbur Tillman says he's been asking for the devices for three years.  

"How do our black children in these poor disadvantaged black children make that time up? There's no such thing as making that time up,” said Tillman.

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In addition to the more than 3,000 Chromebooks on order, there are 300 WiFi devices so students can actually get online. 

"I don't want them to get further behind, I want them to get their equipment yesterday,” said community activist Jacqueline Franklin. 

"Our kids have been out of school since March. They’ve had six months to implement a plan and they’ve done absolutely nothing,” said Francisco.

The district says they didn't immediately budget for the chromebooks and they were waiting on federal funds from the "cares act,” which is why it has taken so long.