‘Homework gap’ shows millions of students lack home internet

Digital Divide Homework Gap_1560151789243

In this May 8, 2019, photo, third-grade student Miles Stidham uses an East Webster High School laptop to do homework in Maben, Miss. The Stidhams are unable to get internet at their home in the country, so they take advantage of the internet in the school’s library. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Nearly 3 million students in the U.S. face struggles keeping up with their studies because they don’t have home internet access. That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of census data.

In classrooms, laptops and internet connections are nearly universal. But at home, the cost of internet service and gaps in its availability create obstacles. It happens in both urban and rural communities.

In what has become known as the homework gap, an estimated 17% of U.S. students do not have access to computers at home, and 18% do not have home access to broadband internet.

Raegan Byrd is an honors student and high school senior in Hartford, Connecticut. She must resort to doing homework on her smartphone and even writing papers by tapping them out on the tiny screen.

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