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Closing the Homework Gap

Thank you to the FCC and the many organizations with which Common Sense Kids Action partnered to help bring high-speed internet to low-income children.

As the year comes to an end, we are thankful for efforts this year by President Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the many organizations with which Common Sense Kids Action partnered to help bring high-speed internet connections to low-income families with school-age children.

No longer a luxury, high-speed internet is critical for schoolwork, finding a job, and participating in civic life. And with seven out of 10 teachers assigning homework on the internet but 5 million low-income households with school-age children lacking high-speed access, there is a real homework gap that leaves disadvantaged kids even further behind. This spring, we won a major victory toward closing this gap by getting the FCC to modernize its 30-year-old Lifeline program -- which offers a subsidy from phone bills to low-income households for telephone service -- to include a high-speed internet option.

Common Sense Kids Action made Lifeline modernization a top priority and stuck with it as part our Broadband at School and at Home campaign to ensure every classroom and household in America can have access to high-speed internet. Of course there's a lot of work yet to do, to implement broadband Lifeline in states across the country and to take other steps to ensure all Americans have access to affordable high-speed internet at home and at school.

As Common Sense's founder and CEO Jim Steyer said this spring, "High-speed internet access is an essential part of learning today, just like textbooks, rulers, and science labs." Homework, he said, "is assigned online, and there are incredible learning apps and websites and a wealth of information and research online. But too many people today -- including millions of young students -- still cannot access those essential tools at home, where so much learning takes place."

We're thankful for this positive step forward for kids, and we are committed to making progress in 2017 and beyond.

At Common Sense Kids Action, we're working every day to make the world a better place for kids. Join our efforts to make kids our nation's top priority -- become a Kids Action Advocate today!

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy operations. He brings nearly three decades of service on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Danny first joined Common Sense in 2015 and returned again in 2020, and has led efforts to close the digital divide, protect children's online data privacy, hold tech companies accountable for online practices that harm kids, and expand access to and awareness of the child tax credit to lift children out of poverty.