What Is the Homework Gap? The homework gap is the gulf that exists between students and families who have access to computers and the internet and those who don’t. It is part of the digital divide and can affect students’ ability to Complete homework Be academically successful Build the foundation for a successful career Take advantage of economic opportunities Nationally, the gap looks like this: 15% of households with school-aged children do not have high-speed internet access at home. 17% of teens say they have trouble completing their homework because of a lack of internet access. The numbers are even higher when it comes to minorities and low-income families. One in every four low-income teens does not have access to a laptop or desktop computer at home. (Source: Pew Research Center) The Homework Gap in North Carolina Researchers estimate that as many as half a million North Carolina students do not have the access they need to high speed internet. Closing the homework gap in North Carolina is a major goal of the N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office. Gathering the Data: Homework Gap Study Accurate state- and local-level data on the breadth of the homework gap has not been easy to come by. That lack of data makes designing and implementing strategies to address the issue difficult. As a result of directives outlined in the 2016 Connecting North Carolina State Broadband Plan, the Broadband Infrastructure Office collaborated with the Friday Institute Research and Evaluation Group at North Carolina State University to conduct a survey to determine the extent of the homework gap in our state and to convene educational technology leaders to brainstorm solutions to eradicate the homework gap. This report details these activities. Find its recommendations for closing the homework gap. Since the partners began studying the issue in 2017, the topic of the homework gap has attracted an increasing amount of attention. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Education released a report examining the homework gap nationwide, the Consortium for School Networking released an updated toolkit designed to assist districts as they address the homework gap locally, and in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper proposed a $2.5 million grant program to improve home access for students. This report contributes to the growing body of research and strategic policy recommendations designed to address the Homework Gap.