Times Union Op-Ed: To Make Remote Schooling Work, Families Need More Support

September 22, 2020

Originally published in Albany Times Union on September 22, 2020.

"Today, broadband is as essential as books and paper used to be, and we need to recognize it as such by guaranteeing free universal access. In a state Education Department survey of schools (with 48 percent responding) more than 500,000 students have been identified as lacking internet access or computers. And although there is some help for people who cannot afford it, New York should go further. We should insist that telecommunications companies step up and voluntarily provide free access to every student and school district in the state for the duration of this pandemic, effective immediately. Free internet access is a fundamental educational need that we must address, at least for the duration of the pandemic.

In addition, we need Congress to immediately provide funds to allow local child care resource and referral agencies to coordinate with local school districts to create one-stop child care services. These services must be flexibly and affordably aligned to the needs of parents and their children."