CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the new school year approaches and as more districts opt for full-remote learning plans there’s an urgent effort underway to make sure all students have access to both devices and the internet.
In Mecklenburg County, for example, data from the Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance shows around 10-thousand families don’t have a home-based computer.
CMS is also a member of the alliance and today members told me the district has been working hard to make sure there is 100 percent connectivity before students begin their remote learning.
After deciding to move to Plan C, CMS students won’t be learning in-person this school year. But without wifi, some won’t be learning at all.
Pat Millen is a member of the Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance and said the Alliance has been hard at work working to close the county’s digital divide.
"19 percent of the county does not have access to internet," said Millen.
An effort that’s now more important than ever as more than 147 thousand CMS students get ready to start a school year that’s 100 percent virtual.
"The good news is CMS have Chromebooks and tablets to distribute literally to every single school or every kid in every single school," said Millen.
Millen said the remaining challenge is internet access.
"David Tepper from the Panthers and the Belk Foundation and the Cannon Foundation actually funded 6,000 hotspots back in March that made a tremendous difference," said Millen.
He said the district has plans to keep those hotspots active throughout the fall semester, but even with those, there are still gaps.
"That said I don’t think the solution is 100 percent yet," said Millen.
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