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Chromebooks, web-based devices that run on software from Google and are made by an array of companies, are in particular demand because they cost less than regular laptops. That has put huge pressure on a supply chain that cobbles laptop parts from all over the world, usually assembling them in Asian factories, Mr. Boreham said.

While that supply chain has slowly geared up, the spike in demand is “so far over and above what has historically been the case,” said Stephen Baker, a consumer electronics analyst at the NPD Group. “The fact that we’ve been able to do that and there’s still more demand out there, it’s something you can’t plan for.”

Adding to the problem, many manufacturers are putting a priority on producing expensive electronics that net greater profits, like gaming hardware and higher-end computers for at-home employees, said Erez Pikar, the chief executive of Trox, a company that

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In 1998, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, President Bill Clinton said, “Today, affluent schools are almost three times as likely to have Internet access in the classroom; white students are more than twice as likely as black students to have computers in their homes. We can extend opportunity to all Americans or leave many behind. We can erase lines of inequity or etch them indelibly.”

I was at the U.S. Department

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A study said 50 million public school students will be taking classes from home.

This report is part of “Turning Point,” a groundbreaking month-long series by ABC News examining the racial reckoning sweeping the United States and exploring whether it can lead to lasting reconciliation.

Parents and community leaders across the country shared their struggles with remote learning and the “digital divide” with ABC News.

According to a June 2020 report from Common Sense Media and the Boston Consulting Group, 50 million public school students are getting their education from home — but 9 million

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