Report: 1 in 4 students lacks internet for remote learning


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{b35c63bac5fac9ed648f97d4700fe9ffe9c190bec929f61ce1f7fc4e68d68241} 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{b35c63bac5fac9ed648f97d4700fe9ffe9c190bec929f61ce1f7fc4e68d68241} of student lack the internet access crucial for remote learning. In addition, 42{b35c63bac5fac9ed648f97d4700fe9ffe9c190bec929f61ce1f7fc4e68d68241} 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.

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