Tamara Solis faced a choice when it came to her children’s education: Pay for rent and food or pay for internet access. Broadband came in second, so she takes her kids to a friend’s garage apartment in Watts for internet — where they do their schoolwork in close quarters amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a small place,” said Solis, noting that it was difficult to abide by recommended physical distancing guidelines. “We try to do the best — one on the table, one on the sofa, one on the bed … but it’s not big enough to keep far away.”
Her plight is not unique.
Despite promises of help, families in the low-income neighborhoods of Watts, Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles have struggled to get online, with at least 16% of students lacking basic internet access, according to a survey of public school families in those communities released Wednesday