In rural Eastern PA families may not have internet access for virtual learning

Written by on September 3, 2020

 In rural Eastern PA families may not have internet access for virtual learning

By Chloe Nouvelle

September 3, 2020

In Pennsylvania’s rural regions, students may have trouble participating in their local district’s new virtual school because they lack broadband access at home.

In Schuylkill County’s Minersville Area School District, possibly 10 percent of families reported that they can’t get online at home.

So, district superintendent Carl McBreen says he’s set up an internet access point at a school. 

“The parents can drive up or students can drive up to the back parking lot and download the information they need,” said McBreen.

The connectivity issue isn’t unique to Minersville. According to the National Rural Education Association, up to 12 million American households don’t have the sort of internet connectivity that is required for today’s remote K-12 education platforms. 

The association says internet accessibility can’t be solved at the local level, and says state and federal agencies would be needed to help fix the digital learning inequities.

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