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Haslam family donates $900K to help low-income Knox Co. families purchase insurance for school laptops

Knox Co. Schools is providing free Chromebooks for students, but families are responsible for buying $30 insurance to cover the cost of loss or damage

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Many Knox County parents are facing a tough decision right now about whether they want their children to go back to the classroom or learn virtually.

To make that possible, Knox County Schools is providing Chromebooks to every K-12 student at no cost. However, families will have to choose whether or not to pay $30 for insurance to cover the costs of the device is lost or damaged.

To help lower-income families offset that cost, the Haslam family has donated $900,000 to help those families. The joint gift is being made by Natalie and Jim Haslam; Dee and Jimmy Haslam; former First Lady Crissy Haslam and former Gov. Bill Haslam; and Ann Haslam Bailey and Steve Bailey. The Haslam family founded Pilot Flying J.

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“The Haslam family has always been strong advocates of education and of Knox County Schools in particular,” said Superintendent Bob Thomas. “This gift continues their legacy of supporting our students, and we’re deeply grateful for their generosity. By providing insurance for families who otherwise could not afford it, we believe this gift will give students peace of mind to fully utilize their Chromebooks and to enhance their learning.” 

In a statement, the Haslam family said, “Equal access to education is critical, and this includes the technology tools that help students learn. We want to ensure that all Knox County students feel comfortable and confident utilizing the new Chromebooks for enriched learning, and we hope that the coverage of insurance fees will allow all students to consistently utilize their Chromebooks. As a family, we are always humbled to being able to help empower our youth and continue to give them a stronger and equal foundation from which they can achieve.”

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