Families across Arizona are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their children’s education. Luisa Cruz is a mother who works with our organization and faces those concerns today with her three children, who attend multiple schools in Phoenix. Luisa is eager to have her children return to school, but she fears for their safety and does not want them to return until there is data showing that it is safe to do so. Luisa is unable to work, and this is particularly difficult for the family as the pandemic has caused her husband’s hours at work to be cut.
This is a common emotional battle many parents experience — the desire for their children to receive a proper education with the competing need to keep their children out of harm’s way. Homeschooling children, however, creates its own problems, particularly when schools require their students to use computers or tablets and maintain access to the internet in order to complete their assignments or attend class.
More Financial Wealth Means Better Pandemic Health
Many low-income families simply are unable to afford the devices and services that many people consider household staples. Luisa, for example, has struggled to provide her children with the tools to complete their schoolwork, and initially, the children had to use a cellphone and cellular data to finish their assignments because the family did not have access to wireless internet.
This is just one of the issues with which low-income families in Arizona struggle. Although Luisa chose to stay home with her children, many parents simply are unable to do so.
Bridging the Digital Divide
The issues that Luisa is facing illuminate some of the struggles low-income families face during this stressful time. We are taking action for Luisa and others like her.
In response to the remote learning pandemic landscape, our organization is advocating for such as:
an appropriate amount of money allocated to schools and sufficient funding for home internet connectivity
districts using any funds wisely, advocating for the use of the best practices identified by Education Superhighway.
public reporting of information
parent trainings and help through consistent platforms
Children’s access to education should not be limited to the hardware they have at home. We invite you to join our mission to ensure every student has access to a high-quality education!