Call to action on home internet for students

KASB and the National School Boards Action center are urging school board members and other Kansas education leaders to call on Congress to help fix the “homework gap” that makes online learning difficult or impossible for the 70,000 Kansas students without reliable home internet access.  

The call to action urges Congress to provide $2 billion in new funding to the ERate program that serves schools and libraries, and to press the Federal Communications Commission to use its authority to allow that funding to pay for home internet access for students. Click on this link to send an email to U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Senator Jerry Moran, and your member of the U.S. House of Representatives. You may also follow the KASB and NASBAC Twitter accounts (@KASBTopeka, @NSBAC) and retweet the call to action.  

School boards and superintendents tell KASB one of the biggest barriers to robust continuous instruction while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic is that many students don’t have reliable internet service at home and are unable to access and complete online instruction (the “homework gap”). The gap between internet “haves” and “have-nots” is particularly acute in rural areas without coverage or in high-poverty areas where families can’t afford service. 

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates 14 percent of school-aged children didn’t have home internet access in 2017 and Kansas was slightly below that national rate; based on those statistics, 70,000 Kansas K-12 students lack access. 

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