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The Daily Dose 9-24-20

Sep 24, 2020

The governor's former chief of staff is called to testify on a self-dealing scandal. Police reform hearings continue in the MD Senate. Baltimore students call on Comcast to close the city’s digital divide. And in Baltimore County, teachers are anxious about their upcoming return to the classroom.

CREDIT DREW MORRIS/FLICKR


  Baltimore City students joined peers in Philadelphia, Detroit and Baton Rouge to call on Comcast to close the digital divide by providing free internet access for all students. The company’s Internet Essentials program isn’t fast or cheap enough to allow all students to learn remotely online, they said at a Wednesday news conference.  

Kimberly Vasquez, a senior at Baltimore City College High School, said her school year hasn’t been marked with the usual milestones but by internet connections that lag and drop, especially when multiple people in the same household are online.

Drew Morris/Flickr


Baltimore City Public School leaders said Monday that they will delay the return to in-person classes until later this fall, saying the system must balance pandemic health measures with the need to get students back into classrooms.

 

“We were determined that our plan be data-based, both in terms of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of distance learning on our most vulnerable students — while avoiding any influence from attempts to politicize this situation,” Sonja Santelises, CEO of the school system, said in a statement.

P. Kenneth Burns

Those who live in Baltimore’s suburbs have at least two options for cable television and high speed internet; Comcast and Verizon.  But for city residents, Comcast is the only game in town for cable television.  And they’re pretty much the only option for extremely fast internet as well.

Jason Hardebeck, Baltimore’s broadband coordinator, says it all “comes down to infrastructure.”