As the COVID-19 pandemic closes schools for New York City’s 1.1 million students, remote instruction — teachers providing instruction through platforms like Zoom and Google Meet and YouTube — is the new normal.
At least for the students who have access to laptops and the internet.
Yet many students are not so lucky, largely because 73% of public school enrollment is economically-disadvantaged. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza estimates that almost one-third of students — 300,000 — don’t have access to one-on-one devices and/or internet connectivity. While private industries are stepping up (Apple is donating iPads, Optimum and Spectrum are reducing prices, although not without some hiccups), New York City’s neediest students, those with the largest opportunity gaps, are losing out.
That’s why a group of education activists have started a change.org petition that asks FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to urge all internet providers to provide free internet to ALL low-income families, even if they have prior debts or have applied for service previously. Click here to join the fight for educational equity.