Weekly News Roundup: Child Hunger, Internet Access, and the Pandemic

 In Last Week's Best Articles

As schools across the country shut down, parents, students, and teachers are left with uncertainty and questions about what the future holds. As advocates for a high-quality education for ALL students, we’ll work to keep you up to date on the education world’s response to this crisis. As we’ve seen time and time again, many of our nation’s students are particularly vulnerable during times like this. We need to remain vigilant, stay informed of how the response is affecting ALL of God’s children, and advocate for our students’ protection and well-being.

Here are the stories that we’ve been focused on this week.

Coronavirus Relief Package Offers Up More Than $30 Billion For Education via National Public Radio

The U.S. Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package includes more than $30 billion for education, with more than $14 billion for colleges and universities and at least $13.5 billion for the nation’s K-12 schools.

Help for K-12 will come, in part, from what’s called the Education Stabilization Fund. Part of this money is meant for protecting jobs and paying staff while school is out of session. It can also be used to pay for Internet-connected devices and equipment for districts moving to remote learning.

Child Hunger and the Coronavirus Pandemic via Education Trust

On a typical school day, 21 million K-12 students from low-income backgrounds rely on free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches. With schools across the country closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic — as well as many parents newly-unemployed — the United States is facing the risk of massive child hunger.

She’s 10, Homeless and Eager to Learn. But She Has No Internet. via The New York Times

On the first day of remote learning, while some parents in the city were posting cute photos of their children waving to their classmates and teachers as lessons were streamed live, Allia and thousands of other children living in New York City shelters and in overcrowded apartments did not have devices with built-in internet. There are about 450 shelters for families and single adults in the main shelter system, and most of them do not have Wi-Fi available for residents, according to the city Department of Social Services.


One thing to read this weekend

Two districts, two very different plans for students while school is out indefinitely via The Connecticut Mirror

This digital divide between one of the state’s wealthier towns and poorest cities – and differences in distance learning for students during the prolonged school closure – will surely deepen the yawning disparities in educational outcomes between students from low-income families and their classmates.

“The achievement gap is going to worsen – not get better,” warned Donald E. Williams Jr., the executive director of the state’s largest teachers’ union, the Connecticut Education Association.


Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would like to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below: