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Connecticut Takes Steps During Pandemic To Expand Internet Access

Internet Broadband cable
Jorge Guillen

Since the pandemic, more than 40,000 families in Connecticut received internet access. More than 140,000 laptops have been given to public school students. Governor Ned Lamont said these are steps to close the digital divide.

Connecticut spent more federal pandemic funds per person on education than any other state — that’s more than $43 million dollars.

Lamont said the state’s effort to connect every student in need to virtual learning will help address inequality.

“Back in the 1930s they had rural electrification — they realized you were a second class citizen unless you had electricity," Lamont said. "Well in the year 2020, you’re a second class citizen unless you have internet access.”

Lamont said about 70 percent of Connecticut students returned to some form of in-person classes this fall, but the majority included online learning.

The state education commissioner said as schools prepare to close during the winter wave of COVID-19 cases, parents can access quality virtual content online at the CT Learning Hub.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.