Superintendents focus on bridging digital divide

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Thursday, September 17, 2020
HISD superintendent gives progress report on 'digital divide'
Heading towards the end of the second week of classes, Houston ISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan gave a key progress report to bridge the digital divide with students.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the school year is now underway amid the coronovirus pandemic, concerns remain about whether or not students have access to the technology they need for remote learning.

Technological difficulty is just one of the reasons students could become disengaged. The so-called digital divide means economically disadvantaged students, specifically, are falling through the cracks.

Houston ISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan joined State Representative Jarvis Johnson, Representative Ron Reynolds, Representative Shawn Thierry, and leaders from Aldine, Spring and Stafford school districts, LaTonya Goffney, Mark Miranda, and Robert Bostic to discuss potential solutions for student technology.

SEE ALSO: Mother of 4 says her kids don't have access to computers or Internet

Preliminary data from the Texas Education Agency shows 23.4% of students lost contact or stopped engaging with learning during the spring semester in HISD. That's more than twice statewide average.

SEE ALSO: Houston ISD found just 1,000 of its 8,500 prioritized lost students

The HISD school board expects to spend $31 million on devices for students. By the end of the year, the district says it plans to have distributed nearly 125,000 devices and hotspots to students.

The new school year at HISD starts soon and with some students learning online it was found that technological difficulty is just one of the reasons they could become disengaged.