Originally published April 26, 2018
According to the American School Bus Council, there are about 480,000 school buses in America transporting around 25 million children to and from school. It’s become apparent that school buses benefit our communities — aside from making sure kids arrive to school safely and on time. School buses help to reduce traffic, by keeping over 17 million cars off the road and prevent over 20 million tons of CO2 from being released each year. School districts are now making school buses even more valuable, by installing Wi-Fi on buses. This should help extend the reach of the classroom, dramatically improve behavior on the bus, allow students to complete homework assignments, and ultimately bring grades up.
Using the bus Wi-Fi to complete school assignments not only helps with behavior issues, but provides an advantage that is not offered to all students. Even today, the internet is not available to everyone. Those students who are without internet access at home are falling behind, because it becomes harder to complete homework assignments without access to those resources.
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, 17.5 percent of American homes do not have internet access. This means there are about 5 million homes with school-age children (ages 6 through 17) that do not have high-speed internet service. This is considered the “homework gap.” Adding Wi-Fi to school buses helps to close this gap, giving all students the opportunity to use bus time to turn in assignments, research online, or access online school portals to complete assignments.