Article: Low-Income Parents and Digital Obstacles to Schoolwork

Posted by Pew Research Center on September 22, 2020

According to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data from April, 59 percent of parents with lower incomes stated that their children would likely face at least one of three digital obstacles while attending school virtually. These digital obstacles included: having to do their schoolwork from a cellphone; relying on public WiFi due to lack of reliable internet at home; and not being able to complete schoolwork at home due to lack of access to a computer at home. Of those parents with children whose K-12 schools were closed in the spring, 38 percent of parents expressed that it was very or somewhat likely that their child would face at least one of these issues. Parents with middle incomes were nearly twice as concerned as parents with higher incomes about their children facing digital obstacles. Overall, 80 percent of those surveyed in April believed that K-12 schools have a responsibility to provide computers or tablets to at least some students to help them to complete their schoolwork remotely.

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