Joy Hofmeister wants the internet in the home of every Oklahoma student.
In an interview Monday, she said the COVID-19 closures have exposed an equity gap between students who have home internet access and those who don’t.
“I want every one of our Oklahoma students to have access to a computer and internet access at home,” she said. “And I won’t rest until that’s done.”
About a third of people in Oklahoma lack access to broadband.
But alternate ways to get internet are out there and she said she’ll leverage those to get access to students. She said she plans to work with internet service providers and leverage emergency funds from the federal government to get it done.
The State Department of Education is currently surveying districts to figure out the needs of its students statewide.
The best way to educate students while their schools are closed is through online learning, Hofmeister said.
“And that can’t happen without connectivity so let’s make it happen for all kids and be prepared for the summer or the fall with or without a pandemic,” she said.