State efforts to close the K-12 digital divide may come up short

In 2021, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that education officials in his state had “closed” the digital divide by ensuring that every public school student had a laptop or tablet and internet access.

“Closing the digital divide wasn’t just about meeting the challenges of remote learning,” Murphy, a Democrat, said at the time. “It’s been about ensuring every student has the tools they need to excel in a 21st century educational environment.”

While the Murphy administration was successful in giving 358,212 students access to critical education tools they previously lacked, the digital divide remains a problem in New Jersey as well as throughout the nation.

The Conversation, January 19, 2022
Authored by Stephanie Holcomb. Andrea Hetling, Gregory Porumbescu, Vishal Trehan