SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In San Diego County, about 100,000 students don't have basic internet access.
During the pandemic, the average student could fall behind seven months academically.
That loss could be even more for black and Latinx kids. One-third of parents and caregivers say they could use additional support with distance learning like tutoring.
Erin Hogeboom, director of San Diego for Every Child, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing child poverty, said they are trying to bring attention to the issue and get kids the resources they need.
"We've seen parents and caregivers take on a role they never have before," Hogeboom said.
San Diego for Every Child is also part of the Equitable Distance Learning Task Force and put together a whole report on the topic with the San Diego County Office of Education and Classroom of the Future Foundation.
"Schools have done a wonderful job of getting devices out but we still have an issue with connectivity across our county," says Hogeboom.
Which means even if a school has sent home a device with a student, getting online remains a challenge.
Hogebloom says the report also showed parents and caregivers need help and students need support outside of academics.
"The social and emotional support components that so many students are gonna need moving back again even when schools open," Hogeboom said.
Hogebloom says the pandemic has only magnified the struggles so many students face.
That's why San Diego for Every Child and other organizations are focusing on making sure things like tutoring, reliable connectivity, and even basic equipment are available for every family.
"As a community, we need to make sure that these resources are accessible to everyone no matter their income bracket or level," Hogeboom added.
To learn more about San Diego for Every Child, visit the nonprofit's website here.
Editor's note: After this story aired, the San Diego County Office of Education provided updated numbers on student connectivity. They are as follows:
Student Broadband Connectivity
Approximate countywide need (as of January 2020): 100,000+
Approximate countywide need (as of January 2021): ~22,070
Student Mobile Computing Devices
Approximate countywide need (as of January 2020): 300,000+
Approximate countywide need (as of January 2021): ~38,355