Supporting Equitable Access to Education by Closing the Homework Gap
Author: Amina Fazlullah
The homework gap—which refers to the divide between students who have home access to the technology tools necessary for education versus those without—has existed for decades.
The next administration should maximize the use of all available policy tools to close the homework gap and keep it closed. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should update the existing E-rate program to allow schools to ensure home access to broadband for every student and teacher (Pre-K to Grade 12). Second, the FCC, in coordination with the Department of Education, should launch a one-to-one device program for students and teachers (Pre-K to Grade 12). Third, the FCC should incentivize the deployment of “future-proof” networks that are capable of at least 100/100 mbps to meet the needs of distance learning. Fourth and finally, the FCC should provide schools and states clear guidance on the key data needed to assess their homework gap and include this data in a public facing dashboard for broader stakeholder analysis.
About the Author
Amina Fazlullah is the Equity Policy Counsel for Common Sense where she works on a range of issues on behalf of kids and families, including platform accountability, expanding access to technology, digital well-being, and privacy. Amina was a Technology Policy Fellow at Mozilla, where she worked to promote broadband connectivity in underserved communities around the world. Amina has also worked with the Benton Foundation, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, for the Honorable Chief Judge James M. Rosenbaum of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, FCC’s Office of Policy and Planning and the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel.