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The U.S. K-12 Digital Divide Has Narrowed, but Must Close to Eliminate Risks to Students and the Economy

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --A As Americans brace for another year of pandemic-related school disruption, the digital divide remains a daunting challenge for K-12 public school systems in most states. Although progress to bridge the divide has been significant, up to 12 million K-12 students remain digitally underserved going into 2021, according to a new report by Common Sense, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and the Southern Education Foundation.
The U.S. K-12 Digital Divide Has Narrowed, but Must Close to Eliminate Risks to Students and the Economy
The report, titled Looking Back, Looking Forward: What It Will Take to Permanently Close the K-12 Digital Divide, released today, provides a granular understanding of the digital divide's impact on students, and offers a set of recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels to permanently close the digital divide.The report finds that since March 2020, programs to enable distance learning during the pandemic reduced the number of students without access to broadband service by 20 to 40% and reduced the number of students without access to an e-learning device by 40 to 60%. The new analysis also finds that more than 75% of these efforts will expire in the next one to three years, leaving temporarily connected students once again digitally underserved. Leadership Required to Close the Permanently Close the Gap
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