Wyden Co-sponsors Bill to Tackle Homework Gap, Provide Wi-Fi on School Buses
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is co-sponsoring legislation that would for school bus wi-fi to help close the homework gap while students travel on their daily school bus routes in Oregon – and nationwide.
“Oregon students in rural and Tribal communities take long bus rides to and from school. They need wi-fi during those long stretches to keep up with daily assignments and tackle homework,” Wyden said. “All students regardless of their zip code should have solid internet access, and this legislation would lay the foundation for a reliable bridge to end the digital divide for young Oregonians.”
According to the federal government, one in three households lacks internet broadband access, and a December study estimated that nearly 17 million students are stuck in the homework gap without internet access at home to complete their school assignments. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the digital divide into stark contrast, and school districts turned to other funding to provide Wi-Fi hot-spots on school buses and parked them throughout communities.
“Ensuring that all students have off-campus access to broadband for learning requires a range of creative strategies,” said Julia Fallon, Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). “Wi-Fi equipped buses are an emerging solution that meets this critical need. The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is pleased to endorse the E-Rate Support for School Bus Wi-Fi Act, which will empower students to continue learning during their commutes to and from home, regardless of where a student lives,”