Nearly 93 percent of school-age children went from in-school learning to remote learning throughout the pandemic, but some households were more equipped than others.
A side-effect of the digital divide, the “homework gap” refers to students 18-years-old and under who lack the connectivity needed to complete remote school work and subsequently fall behind academically.
Georgia is among the 10 states with the largest homework gaps, ranking number 43 nationwide when it comes to remote learning resources. Almost 10 percent (9.6 percent) of Georgia’s students are without internet or a computer device at home. These findings came from the SatelliteInternet.com’s homework gap 2021 report.
SatelliteInternet.com set out to rank each state according to the severity of its homework gap. The company compared the percentage of students under 18 without at-home computer access or broadband subscriptions to determine the states with the most and fewest internet resources for students.
Data revealed over 5.4 million students across the nation whose education is being impacted by the lack of an internet connection or device at home.
The 10 states with the most connected students, including Nebraska, Washington, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, have a homework gap average of 4 percent.
The bottom 10 states with the least connected students have an average of 11.2 percent, nearly triple the average. Black and Hispanic students are about 1.5 times more likely than their white peers to lack remote-learning tools.
The 10 states with the most internet resources for students boasted the lowest poverty rates in the country as well as smaller Black, Inigenous, and People of Color ( BIPOC) populations.
Nationally, 7.3 percent of children under 18 are without a broadband subscription, and 3.3% do not have a computer at home —that’s over 5.4 million students.
Findings showed that the states with the largest homework gaps have some of the highest poverty rates in the country.
“We compared the standard classroom size of each state with the percentage of students without at-home computer access or broadband subscriptions to determine the states with the most and fewest internet resources for students,” said Ameera Masud of SatelliteInternet.com.
States in the south, including Georgia, had some of the worst rankings.
“The number of households without a broadband internet subscription is 30.1 percent. Georgia is among ten states with the highest poverty rates in the United States, according to current stats I’ve gathered via research and our data,” Masud said.
Companies in Georgia have reportedly tried to help get internet to families to minimize this issue.
The Georgia Department of Education has developed K-12 Remote Learning Plans for teachers and parents to help students and have set up public Wi-Fi locations throughout the state to help those families who do not have internet at home.
Atlanta Public Schools (APS) made attempts to ensure every student has a computer and that hot spots are provided for those who do not have internet access.
This is possible through general educational funding and partnerships APS has with internet providers.
For more information about this report, visit SatelliteInternet.com.
This article is one of a series of articles produced by The Atlanta Voice through support provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Word In Black, a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media outlets across the country.