Report: 1 in 4 students lacks internet for remote learning

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Eighth-grade history teacher Enrique Legaspi has his students “tweet” answers to him during class at Hollenbeck Middle School using their own handheld devices or school computers. He says using Twitter has saved on paper costs, increased student participation, and has made him a more effective teacher.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A new report estimates that about one in four Louisiana students lack the internet access needed to take virtual classes as schools resume with a heavy emphasis on remote learning.

“We are in a much better position than we were four months ago, both devices and connectivity,” said state Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley. “But we have a long way to go.”

The Advocate reports that new findings released last week for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shows that 86% of Louisiana school districts are starting the school year with a combination of virtual and in-person classes.

However, the same report found that about 25% of student lack the internet access crucial for remote learning. In addition, 42% of households go without high-speed internet access, called broadband, that allows multiple users in a home to do virtual learning.

“We are leaving a huge part of the state in the dark literally until we can overcome the problem we have with connectivity,” state Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, told a joint meeting of BESE and the state Board of Regents last week. Mizell is a member of the Senate Education Committee and a state leader of efforts to expand high-speed internet access.

By: Associated Press

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