Quality broadband service is essential for learning. We must ensure all students have convenient access to quality broadband everywhere in Rio Rancho, whether they are in the school building or learning virtually.
In the Fall of 2020, I was on a team with other former school administrators that examined students’ lack of broadband in their place of residences throughout New Mexico. We delivered our findings to the state legislature to assist members as they move forward on this critical need.
Here are our most important findings:
- A portion of our student population is homeless, and some students live in two residences because of divorce or other circumstances. These students need computers and high-speed broadband wherever they may live or stay in order to do their schoolwork.
- My research revealed how difficult it is for school districts to get quality internet into residences such as apartment complexes and trailer parks.
- Even if families have access to an inexpensive internet plan, these plans eventually expire. In areas with high poverty rates, internet providers may not even offer special deals because they are not profitable.
- The lack of affordable quality broadband hits students at Title 1 schools especially hard. These schools serve areas where a higher proportion of students receive free or reduced-price lunches.
As your school board member, I will work to make quality broadband available to all students in our community regardless of their living arrangements or socioeconomic status.
Our research demonstrated that although we face daunting challenges, they can be overcome. Administrators and teachers at Rio Rancho Public Schools know that working with parents, the city council, and the county commission, we can give every student the tools and technology they need to succeed.