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.