Nearly 3 million students around the country face struggles to keep up with their studies because they must make do without home internet.
In classrooms, access to laptops and the internet is nearly universal. But at home, the cost of internet service and gaps in its availability create obstacles in urban areas and rural communities alike.
In what has become known as the homework gap, an estimated 17 percent of students do not have access to computers at home, and 18 percent do not have home access to broadband internet, according to an Associated Press analysis of census data.
School districts, local governments, and others have tried to help. Some districts have installed wireless internet on buses and loaned out hot spots. Many communities have compiled lists of Wi-Fi-enabled restaurants and other businesses where children are welcome to linger and do schoolwork.
The consequences can be dire because students with home internet consistently score higher in reading, math, and science. Students without internet at home are more likely to be those of color, from low-income families, or in households with lower parental education levels.
A version of this article appeared in the June 19, 2019 edition of Education Week as Analysis Indicates Millions of Students Lack Home Internet to Do Homework