In the US we claim that every citizen is entitled to a basic living wage and access to housing with clean water, electricity, heat and sanitation. Today we include on that list access to high-speed internet. Not every student has this access.

Lack of access to the internet amplifies the education gap that penalizes students in our most high-risk populations. While some students have opportunities for quality education with high-speed internet and up-to-date computers, there are tens of thousands of students struggling to figure out how to attend class virtually or submit homework during the pandemic. Studies show that over 40 percent of rural American students have no internet access at home. Many urban students have to leave home and go to public libraries to have internet access.

Athar Rafiq, a guest contributor for ICPJ, teaches Cybersecurity at Mount St. Mary’s University.

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