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Letters to the Editor: Let’s try fixing inequality in education before the next crisis

Schools such as Burbank Middle School in Los Angeles have prepared classrooms for social distancing practices.
Even though the LAUSD is starting the academic year completely online, schools such as Burbank Middle School in Los Angeles have made preparations for classroom learning with social distancing practices.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Let’s face it — long before COVID-19, lower-income families that did not have computers and Wi-Fi were at a disadvantage when it came to education. (“A generation left behind? Online learning cheats poor students, Times survey finds,” Aug. 13)

True, the disadvantages got worse with the pandemic and distance learning, but public Wi-Fi and computers for every student school should have already been a simple, attainable goal for our society.

When then-Supt. John Deasy attempted to get iPads to every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2013, his critics ran him out of town for every reason they could come up with. Trying to bridge the digital divide wasn’t one of them.

Yes, there were a ton of problems with the rollout and logistics, but the district could have done much better than just giving up.

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How about we come up with some solutions before the next crisis? Wi-Fi should be everywhere, like free TV used to be. Computers should be considered like a textbook and given to every public school student.

Why don’t our public university students get involved and serve as tutors for these kids? How about California’s giant tech companies step up and help foot the bill, since they owe their existence to the state’s education system?

Susan Kovinsky, Valley Village

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To the editor: Seventy percent of students in large Southern California school districts are low income? What has this country come to?

I’m a senior citizen, and when I was in school there were hardly any poor people. There weren’t any billionaires either, and if you had a million or two, you were considered wealthy.

We need to fix inequality; from that, most other problems would fix themselves. If people made a decent living, we would have a bigger tax base and could better fund education.

It’s a shame that public education in California, which used to be the best in the world, has come to this.

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Gina Lovin, Vista, Calif.


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