The NAACP Wants ISPs to Keep Students of Color Connected Through the Entire Pandemic

published 30.07.2020 22:16

Should these students from those unserved and underserved communities lose internet access, they will not be able to attend school and fall academically behind their peers.

According to an Alliance for Excellent Education report cited in the letter, 16.9 million students still lack home internet access, and “[t]hose students and families are overwhelmingly people of color.”

Yet, amid the national debate about returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been little national attention paid to the reality that countless students, the majority of whom are children of color, are facing substantial educational barriers because of their limited access to the internet and technology,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s president and director-counsel, in a press release.

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) issued a letter to the chief executives of 20 internet service providers in the United States urging them to keep providing internet to students of color, for free, until they are able to attend classes in-person.

Specifically, the LDF is requesting ISPs: to offer free internet to households with school-age children (generally grades K-12) for the 2020-21 school year; invest in areas that lack critical internet infrastructure; provide free hotspots; and work aggressively to make sure all families with school-aged children are aware of the steps they are taking to keep their families connected.

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