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Virtual School Leaves Kids Behind, Sparking New Broadband Push

  • More money for broadband under discussion on Capitol Hill
  • Millions of schoolchildren, many homes lack fast connections
A boy participates in an online lesson in Chicago, Illinois.

A boy participates in an online lesson in Chicago, Illinois.

Photographer: Interim Archives/Getty Images

The coronavirus shutdown left Los Angeles public schools with a problem: 100,000 students, or nearly one in six, lacked the computer equipment and internet connections needed for online instruction as classrooms shut.

“Many of our families are struggling to make ends meet and cannot afford to do this on their own,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a March 23 message to the schools community. “But their children deserve the same opportunity those in more affluent communities have.”