Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A majority of low-income parents face technology challenges to their children's remote learning in K-12, a new Pew Research Center survey shows.
The survey asked parents about three digital obstacles: first, having to do schoolwork on a cellphone; second, having to use public WiFi to finish schoolwork because of no reliable Internet at home; and third, not being able to complete schoolwork because of lack of access to a computer at home.
Fifty-nine percent of low-income parents said that they had at least one of these three digital obstacles.
Overall, only 38% of U.S. parents said in the survey conducted in April that they anticipated any of these obstacles as upper- and middle-income parents were less likely to face them. Only 13% of upper-income families and 30% of the middle-income parents said they face any of the digital obstacles.
"Those parental anxieties come at a time when there are debates about the role of schools in providing technology to students," Research Associate Emily Vogels said in a statement. "Overall, the vast majority of Americans (80%) said in the April survey that they believed K-12 schools have a responsibility to at least some of their students to provide computers or tablets to help students complete their schoolwork during the outbreak, including 37% who said schools have this responsibility to all of their students."
Parents who expected challenges were more likely than those who didn't to say the government should ensure high-speed Internet to all Americans amid the COVID-19 outbreak, 57% compared with 34%, respectively.
There were also partisan divides on this issue with 52% of Democrats and Independents who lean Democratic saying that the government has the responsibility to ensure all Americans have high-speed Internet connection during the pandemic compared with 22% of Republicans.
The survey is based on a random sample of 4,917 respondents with a 2.1 percentage points margin of error.