Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilitySome families still without internet access weeks into the school year | KIMA
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Some families still without internet access weeks into the school year

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UNION GAP -- Some local families are still without internet access now several weeks into the new school year, making remote learning nearly impossible.

Angela Montague still doesn't have a working Wi-Fi hot spot for her 7-year-old daughter. She says she doesn't want her daughter to continue to fall behind just because they can't afford internet, and she can't afford to stay home to work with her daughter.

"She's brilliant. She's smart and she likes going," says Montague.

Montague is a single working mom. Her daughter, Boston, is starting her fourth week of second grade in Union Gap without internet access at home.

"School's just passing us by and assignments are due, packets are due," says Montague.

She says for the first week, they had to watch her teacher's videos at night after work with data from her cell phone.

She says after the second week, they got a tablet but she says the hotspot the school gave them doesn't work.

"It's a public school, and every type of family that goes to a public school needs to be addressed right now period - low income, agricultural, Spanish-speaking," says Montague. "If we didn't have every student and every family ready for virtual learning, then we should have postponed that"

Arik Korman is with the League of Education Voters, a nonprofit that pushes for educational equity here across the state.

He says remote learning is tough for everyone, but the ones who will end up suffering the most are children like Montague's daughter.

"Covid-19 is like the great spotlight. It's highlighting education disparities that were always there but now it's just so much easier to see them, and they're just so glaring because of that," says Korman.

And he says the gap may continue to widen between those who can be there with their kids and those who have to go to work.

"Unless she's in school, she's never going to be fully caught up, and that's so sad to me because she's so brilliant. And there's just nothing more I can do," says Montague.

She says she's reached out the school every day since school started to get help, but hasn't gotten many answers.

"If I don't voice up for her, or what we need, they're just going to sweep right over us, and we'll be six months down the road without anything that we need," says Montague.

She says she's hoping they can get back to in person learning soon, otherwise her daughter may keep falling further and further behind.

"The biggest thing for me is setting her up for a better life than what we're in right now, and education, I tell her this every day, the only way we're going to do that is if you're educated," says Montague.

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After Action News met this woman, we reached out to the school district to find an answer. Union Gap's superintendent says she wasn't aware of there being anyone without a working hotspot. She says they, like most every school district have had problems getting all the equipment they need with demand so high. She tells me now they are working to get Montague a new hotspot.

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