Coronavirus highlights inequity among students; need for broadband access

The health crisis has revealed a major student equity issue that needs addressing

By

Opinion

March 20, 2020 - 3:34 PM

A rural cell tower, the kind that might someday speed internet speeds to small towns and the countryside.

More than 20 million K-12 students across the country are at home today due to COVID-19 virus control measures.  While the virus didn’t arrive as rapidly in Kansas in as some other states, all public schools are now closed in the state.  

Decisions to suspend classes were being made by local school leaders who follow guidelines based on information from the national Center for Disease Control. The Kansas State Department of Education has formed a team of experts to build a plan for the closures and general  information can be found at its website www.ksde.org.

Closing schools can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but more is involved when schools shut down than simply moving to online assignments. This is because schools are fundamental to the Kansas economy and social services. According to Education Weekly, when schools are closed not only can student-learning stop, childcare for workers, referrals to essential public services and food and safety support for high-need students are interrupted as well.  

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