The homework gap—which refers to the divide between students who have home access to the technology tools necessary for education versus those without—has existed for decades.
The next administration should maximize the use of all available policy tools to close the homework gap and keep it closed. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should update the existing E-rate program to allow schools to ensure home access to broadband for every student and teacher (Pre-K to Grade 12). Second, the FCC, in coordination with the Department of Education, should launch a one-to-one device program for students and teachers (Pre-K to Grade 12). Third, the FCC should incentivize the deployment of “future-proof” networks that are capable of at least 100/100 mbps to meet the needs of distance learning. Fourth and finally, the FCC should provide schools and states clear guidance on the key data needed to assess their homework gap and include this data in a public facing dashboard for broader stakeholder analysis.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.
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