The pandemic has exposed inequalities as education has moved online — work that can’t be performed at home, exposing usually lower-paid adults to greater risk; lack of access to child care and quality early learning; food insecurity; and a digital divide that prevents online learning during the crisis. Schools have stepped up to provide nutritional meals, computer equipment, Internet access and cover for essential workers, but they should not bear the burden alone.
When schools around the country began to close this spring because of the spread of the coronavirus, millions of students had the resources to transition to online learning — but not in Detroit (MI). Some 90 percent of the 51,000 students in the high-poverty Detroit Public Schools Community District did not have access to Internet services or the technology at home required for online learning. Teachers sent home packets of lessons on paper instead.