ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) – The Ector County ISD created the Internet Assistance Program to ensure families that need help getting reliable internet get it.
But families can’t apply unless they don’t have internet, and the application review process takes two weeks, meaning that’s two weeks a student might be missing class and falling behind.
“I’m at, like, 10 out of 10 on frustration right now,” Denton said.
Tonya Denton chose to have her 5th and 7th-grade children attend school virtually this fall because she and her husband have medical issues that make them high risk for COVID-19.
With Tonya on disability and her husband unable to work due to recent surgery, their family lost their internet service on Nov. 20. They applied for the internet assistance program the same day…
“We had to wait before it was completely shut off before we could start the application process,” Denton said.
But the application process takes two weeks. According to the ECISD, that time is used to verify the family lives within the school district, then works to find them internet options through a cable provider or a hot spot.
That creates a dead period of two weeks when a family might not have any internet service, which could cause kids to fall behind.
“I call every morning and every afternoon to follow up on it,” Denton said.
The ECISD knows this and says they’re making every attempt to keep help families like Denton’s.
She hopes the problem is resolved soon. The absences are piling up, and finals are around the corner.
“My middle schooler is missing out on all the reviews that his classes are going over what’s going to be on the finals and what’s not,” she said. “He’s actually supposed to start finals this Friday, but we have no idea if he’s even going to be able to.”
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