AP education reporter Jocelyn Gecker and her San Francisco colleague, business/technology writer Mike Liedtke, reported exclusively that the world’s three largest computer makers have told school districts nationwide that they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops – in some cases exacerbated by Trump administration sanctions on Chinese suppliers – just as many districts move to online learning during the pandemic. AP bureaus across the country contributed by reaching out to some of the largest school districts in 15 states to assess the scope of the problem.

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Lenovo Chromebook laptops sit in shipping boxes in a warehouse used for distribution by Denver Public Schools, Aug. 21, 2020. Schools across the United States are facing shortages and long delays in getting this year’s most crucial back-to-school accessories: the laptops and other equipment needed for online learning.

AP Photo / David Zalubowski