BEL AIR, Md. (AP) — Harford County Public Schools will not be issuing laptops to most of its elementary school students when school starts in September, even though schools are starting the semester with online classes for all students.

School system Superintendent Sean Bulson said Friday in a message to families that they don’t have enough laptops because of high demand and a manufacturing shortage. As a result, computers will only be issued to those in fourth grade or higher.

Teachers in kindergarten through third grade will still conduct live, online classes “for any student who can access it.”

The school system learned last month its laptop order couldn’t be filled on time. The system asked families who could do so to opt out of receiving a school-issued computer, but the system still faces a shortage, Bulson said.

The school system hopes it will have more computers available by mid-October.

The laptop shortage comes as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is prodding school boards across the state to allow in-person learning to take advantage of a statewide decline in coronavirus cases.

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