In the era of virtual schooling an internet connection is essential. Unfortunately, 12 million families don’t have access to reliable internet. These historically underserved students are threatened with falling even further behind, expanding exponentially our existing opportunity gaps. This is a relatively simple problem to solve and we need your help.
Former education secretary Arne Duncan and former Florida governor Jeb Bush both supported our petition to the Federal Communications Commission this week, which would require free service for low-income families. I hope that you will too, and I hope you will do even more for us. Keep reading to find out what.
The Right and the Responsibility of Internet Service
We have compulsory education laws, where parents can be put in jail for not having students attend school. But now we have a system where those same disadvantaged parents are locked out of the schoolhouse door by corporate greed. And nobody is standing up for their rights.
Every low-income family deserves free internet service. This is not a luxury, this is a public utility. And the same way we subsidize lifeline service on landlines, we could do the same for internet. However, this should not be something that every family has to fight through, or every city debates with every internet provider. It is something the government should mandate and pay for, and we need your help.
Who is Blocking the Virtual Schoolhouse Door
In Oakland we succeeded in pushing Comcast to change its local and national policies, to assure access for ALL families. But this is a national problem involving hundreds of internet service providers and we need national action. That is why former education secretary Arne Duncan in a Washington Post editorial and former Florida governor Jeb Bush joined over 12,000 other Americans in demanding that the Federal Communications Commission mandate that Internet Service Providers provide, free, no strings, internet to low income families so that they can enter the virtual schoolhouse.
Distance learning is, and will continue to be, a key part of modern schooling. We need to support families now, AND after the COVID crisis is over, by securing their rights to ongoing free internet, and building a stronger infrastructure for that.
Help Us, Help Them–Share you Story
We need your help. We are looking for more exposure of this issue and want some additional endorsements, particularly on social media. We would appreciate some “celebrity” support on social media or in developing a short PSA on the issue.
Our real stars are our children and families, and we would appreciate being able to carry your stories. And show the real-life effects of corporate greed. If you want to call out your local provider for blocking the schoolhouse door, we are down with that. And we will share your stories out.
We also would appreciate political or educational celebrities, athletes, musicians, or anyone with social media influence. The more visibility we get the greater chance we will make a difference for these families.
So, send us a note, make us a video for social media, do a facebook live and tell your story. This is about more than listing some names it is about changing the rules of the game, now and in the future.
Our families need us to fight for them, internet access is a necessity to access school. Please help us bring all children in.
Please sign, share, and think of creative ways you can support the effort to get all kids online, now and going forward.