April 3, 2020

Need to know: COVID-19

For more, EdNC.org is updating this article daily with news and resources. All daily updates are archived at the bottom of the post.

Policy challenge: Access to internet

As K-12 schools, universities, and community colleges have moved online, access to the internet has become even more important. And while a recent Pew Research Center report highlighted North Carolina as a leader in broadband access, this pandemic has exposed digital gaps.

“’No child left offline’ is the new ‘no child left behind,’” EdNC’s Mebane Rash wrote in a recent article on the broadband gap. In the article, she cites data from the NC Department of Public Instruction Digital Teaching and Learning office.

The first map below shows the percentage of households in each county who have access to high speed internet. Access is defined as areas where households have the option of purchasing high speed internet.

Screen Shot 2020 04 01 at 4.00.36 PM

This second map shows an estimated percentage of households in each county who do not have a subscription to the internet.

Screen Shot 2020 04 02 at 5.09.13 PM

Based on this data, the report estimates approximately 216,162 K-12 households and 306,437 students in North Carolina do not have an active internet subscription.

School districts and colleges have pursued creative ways of getting students and faculty online, including loaning out hot spots, moving Wi-Fi access points to parking lots, and sending paper packets home on the bus for students. Check out this article about one educator’s struggle to get internet, and this article about how Hyde County Schools is moving online.

Dropping knowledge

April 1 was Census Day, which provided some much-needed (in my opinion) content aside from everything coronavirus-related. William Frey at the Brookings Institute published a good preview of likely headlines we’ll see once the 2020 census is complete. Here are a few.

  • America’s population growth will hit all-time low
  • NC projected to have between 10-15% population growth
  • Growth in racial diversity and growth of the over-55 population
  • After a decade of slow growth rates, the 2020 census will show the return of big cities
  • NC is projected to gain one congressional seat

  • Census undercounts are normal, but demographers worry this year could be worse

    The Conversation | 04/03/2020

  • What Will U.S. Labor Protections Look Like After Coronavirus?

    Harvard Business Review | 04/02/2020

  • One City Is Paying Restaurants to Make Meals for Homeless Shelters

    Route Fifty | 04/02/2020

  • Can hands-on career and tech programs go online during school shutdowns?

    Hechinger Report | 03/31/2020

  • Ask & Answer | Curious how $50 million of COVID-19 supplemental funds were distributed among school districts, charter schools, and the ISD?

    EducationNC | 04/03/2020

  • Governmental Public Health Powers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    JAMA Network | 04/02/2020

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