New report shows digital divide for students in Arizona

Jul 1, 2020, 4:25 AM | Updated: 3:17 pm
(Kara Illig via AP)...
(Kara Illig via AP)
(Kara Illig via AP)

PHOENIX — With the prospect of more distance learning on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis released demonstrates the digital divide students in Arizona face.

Common Sense Media reported alongside Boston Consulting Group, 29% of students across Arizona do not have internet access. That equates to more than 335,000 students in the state who have no connection to online learning.

Additionally, the report found 19% of students in Arizona do not have devices at home for distance learning.

“We know now distance learning isn’t going away,” Ilana Lowery with Common Sense Media told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday. “COVID-19 is spiking with Arizona being one of the worst to surge – the digital divide needs to be fixed long term.”

That fix could come from Congress. Common Sense Media is calling on it as students and teachers are headed into an uncertain fall school year given the spike in coronavirus cases causing major concern and delayed starts to school.

Between $6 billion and $11 billion is estimated to close the digital divide on a national level.

The study also found that almost 10% of public-school teachers are also caught in the gap, affecting their ability to run remote classes.

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New report shows digital divide for students in Arizona