Right now, a student’s zip code determines too much about educational opportunities. In a pandemic, family and neighborhood wealth determine even more about whether students have equal access to school via digital learning and the ability to keep pace with their peers. SLCE is leading communities across Louisiana through these challenging times by working together to ensure that digital equity is possible, despite race, socioeconomic background, or geographic location.
Digital redlining [click to learn more] is the systemic denial of technological services due to students and their families living in low-socioeconomic areas. Digital redlining disproportionately affects students and families in urban and rural areas, many who are often already part of disenfranchised, minority communities. These students lack technology (software and hardware) and the technical knowledge necessary to compete in an educational environment that has taken a hard turn recently.
The issues we are dealing with now are not new, but as soon as schools began closing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that unequal access to digital learning would widen existing achievement gaps. Of course, the impact of these issues is being felt across the country. For this reason,
SLCE joined MediaJustice & several other partners to hold a national press conference on Wednesday, September 23rd, to connect inadequate communications access to the impact on students and families, who remain disconnected from school and work through the COVID-19 crisis! this coalition also called for immediate action by Comcast, the nation's largest internet provider, and other broadband companies (like Cox and AT&T) to close the digital divide!
As we push for change in Louisiana, we have partnered with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to support the launch of this campaign. Part of the campaign involves a survey asking parents and families across the state about the level and quality of internet access and their lived experiences in a world that has become more virtual. Data from the survey will be used to push for legislative and systematic changes that will remove barriers and provide access to learning for all our students.
Take this 4 minute survey to share your story and join this work!
Listen to SLCE's Director of Organizing & Strategy, Ciara Hart, speak passionately about the need to #EraseTheDigitalRedline as part of the national press conference on digital equity. Click HERE to view the entire video.