Missouri school districts struggle to bridge ‘digital divide’ for disadvantaged students

COVID and the Classroom

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Missouri’s top education official admits to trouble in the reopening of some schools. Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven told FOX 2’s Elliott Davis that the main issue is the “digital divide.”

Vandeven heads the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She says disadvantaged students in some areas just don’t have the technology. School districts have to figure ways around the problem to make sure they can get kids connected to virtual learning.

Vandeven says some kids were having trouble even before the coronavirus hit and the crisis will just exacerbate the problems. Federal CARES Act funding is supposed to help pay for things like technology, and training teachers. School districts must get their reopening plans approved by the Department of Education.

Vandeven says some students will thrive in the current learning environment that includes virtual learning, but she worries others could fail. She says her department is trying to do all it can to make sure students don’t fall through the cracks.

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