'Digital Divide' – Lack of resources hamper remote learning in low-income communities

As New York City public schools enter the week of remote learning, there are some families who say they still have not received laptops while other say they are having issues connecting at home.

News 12 Staff

Sep 25, 2020, 12:28 AM

Updated 1,337 days ago

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As New York City public schools enter the week of remote learning, there are some families who say they still have not received laptops while other say they are having issues connecting at home.
Parent advocate and Bronx mother Angela Torres calls it the Digital Divide.
Torres says she mostly sees these issues occurring in poor neighborhoods and Black and brown communities.
She adds that poor Wi-Fi connection and not enough devices for families with multiple children are also causing the remote learning gap to widen.
Marianela Apointe is the PTA president at P.S. 304 in Throgs Neck. She says out of 522 students, about 250 students still don't have school laptops.
"The mayor and chancellor promised that every child who needs a device would get one and I don't think they followed through with their promise," said Apointe.
The Department of Education released a statement saying in part, "Bridging the technology gap is critical to the success of remote learning, and we've been working hard to get hundreds of thousands of internet-enabled devices to our students who need them."
The DOE says it has over 950,000 devices systemwide. Five-hundred thousand laptops and tablets are in schools with another 357,000 central iPads currently in use.
The DOE says that 106,000 devices are in the process of being delivered to schools still in need.


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