Nationally, 7 in 10 teachers assign homework that requires internet access. But an estimated five million households with school-age children do not have internet access at home. Students that fall into this “homework gap” — households where internet access is limited or unavailable — lag behind in education and are less competitive in the workforce.
But if you’re a parent with children in North Carolina’s K-12 schools you already know what happens when your children and/or their classmates can’t meaningfully access the internet.
Many of you spend hours each week driving your children to a nearby McDonalds or Starbucks to use their WiFi because internet is not available to your house or it’s too expensive. Or trek to the library multiple times a week so your kids can use the computers because your digital device is broken, being used by one of your other children, or you don’t have one at home because buying one doesn’t fit in your budget.
The State of North Carolina wants to help ensure no child in the K-12 schools falls into the homework gap. But to do so, the State needs to know how widespread the homework gap is and potential challenges students face in accessing digital resources.
To identify this data North Carolina’s Broadband Infrastructure Office and the Friday Institute are conducting a survey of North Carolina households with K-12 students. We would like to encourage you to take the survey so policy makers and education stakeholders can design solutions to this issue.
The anonymous, short survey is available in English and Spanish and can be found here K-12 Internet Access at Home Survey (Encuesta de Accesso a Internet K-12 en el Hogar). It remains open until April 30, 2017.
Should you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, you can reach out to the Broadband Infrastructure Office directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 754-6695.