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Caught in the Homework Gap: A District Perspective on the Digital Divide

Before the pandemic started, nearly 17 million children were caught in the homework gap with no home internet access. As is too often standard, those from historically marginalized communities were most affected. One in three Black, Latinx and Indigenous families didn’t have something that most of us take for granted – high-speed internet access!

The pandemic exacerbated an already present digital divide for our nation’s students. District leaders’ heroic efforts and federal supports like the Emergency Connectivity Fund helped to close that gap.

Getting – and keeping – kids connected should be a top priority. Home internet should not be a privilege. It should be a right. Though we have some incredible programs that can help families get connected, ECF plays a critical role. Families trust schools and by acting as the intermediary schools have been able to help close the gap. In fact, nearly 15 million children have benefited from ECF.

Unfortunately, the fund is going to run out in 2023 and we need Congress to replenish the fund. We’ve made such great gains in closing the digital divide in the last few years and I’d hate for 2023 to be the years that we pull the plug for millions of children!

Call your members of Congress and tell them to replenish the emergency connectivity fund. You can reach them by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. You can also send them an email through their websites at and

Rebeca Shackleford

Director of Federal Government Relations

Meet Rebeca

Adam A. Phyall III, Ed.D.

Director of Professional Learning and Leadership

Meet Adam A.