Mario Ramírez Garcia, 10, listen as his teacher addresses the class during distance learning in the bedroom he shares with his sister on April 23, 2021. According to their father, the internet connection at their Oakland home cuts out about twice a week, which is especially frustrating to the kids when they are taking tests. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

Analysis shows why millions of California students lack broadband

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the state of schools and the quality of education students are able receive. Depending on a student’s access to reliable internet, the last year of virtual school has ranged from enriching to impossibly discouraging.

Which kids have access follows a stark pattern: Across urban and rural areas alike, public schools with more students in poverty were far more likely to serve households that lacked a basic broadband connection at home in the months before school went online, according to an unprecedented CalMatters analysis. For the vast majority, the barrier to access was not a lack of internet infrastructure — indicating that the more common obstacle was affordability. But for the state’s small population of rural students, those two obstacles unite, leaving three in ten households without a reliable connection.

Most students who go to the schools with the lowest neighborhood broadband access live in urban and suburban areas, especially Los Angeles, where CNK researchers in a December 2020 report estimated that 29% of Hispanic students and 27% of Black students didn’t always have internet last fall, compared to 20% for white students.

For more details, access the full article here >>> The wires may be there, but the dollars aren’t: Analysis shows why millions of California students lack broadband

Access the referenced research brief here >>> COVID-19 and the Digital Divide in Virtual Learning: Fall 2020 report

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *