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This Bill Could Help Close the Homework Gap

Closing the digital divide between lower-income students and their more affluent peers would ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to thrive.

Here's some great news out of Washington, D.C.: The homework gap is getting Congress' attention.

Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont and David McKinley of West Virginia are pushing their colleagues in the House to help make sure kids who don't have high-speed broadband at home can get it. They've introduced a bill called the Digital Equity Learning Act (HR 3582) and are trying to get it included in a big education bill that might get voted on later this year.

If passed into law, it will be one more important step toward closing the digital divide between lower-income students and their more affluent peers by ensuring all students have access to online learning resources, even when they're out of the classroom.

Essentially, the homework gap is the divide between students who don't have broadband access at home and those who do. In fact, five million households with school-age kids don't have high-speed Internet at home. And with more and more teachers assigning homework that must be done online, access to broadband is becoming critical to students' success.

In a recent report we published on the benefits of broadband, we point out why having access to high-speed Internet is so important. You can read the whole report here, but consider these highlights:

  • 7 in 10 teachers assign homework that requires the Internet.
  • Expanded access to broadband has been shown to boost family income.
  • The Internet helps connect families to the most affordable, accessible health care information.

If you want to do your part to help close the homework gap, click here to tweet your support for the Digital Equity Learning Act.

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy and public policy 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 harms to kids and teens, and expand access to programs that lift children out of poverty, like the expanded Child Tax Credit. In his spare time, he likes cook dinner and play percussion.