JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's something most of us take for granted, but something not everyone has: internet access.
According to the U.S. Census and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 32% of Mississippi households do not have broadband, including Greenville which is as high as 44%.
Lead educators in Mississippi testified in front of the Mississippi Senate Education Committee with plans to address the issue.
State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright told legislators they need $250 million of the $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to provide communities with license renewals, professional development and equipment.
"If I came in and said turn over your iPhones and laptops, there would be this influx of gasps right?" Wright said. "Because that's exactly how we communicate, how we get information. This is 2020; this is a time where every child should have access, not only to the devices but to high-quality materials."
Districts have already been allocated over $160 million in federal education funds through the Cares Act, but Wright said those funds are not sufficient to address their technology needs.