On Monday, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa unveiled his plans to get WiFi into every home within the district.
“We are going to prioritize the zip codes that have the biggest need,” said Hinojosa.
One-on-One with NBC 5 last week, we asked Hinojosa how this problem can get addressed as students rely on the internet even more.
“If you think this is impossible, you reported on some that are possible,” said Hinojosa.
He’s talking about NBC 5’s look at how students in Castleberry Independent School District stayed connected during the COVID-19 outbreak because Castleberry invested in putting up cell towers that send a signal out to all their students.
“We have 13, 14 campuses that have towers on them. We don’t know what solutions are going to be but we’re going to use infrastructure we already have,” said Hinojosa.
When Genesis Castillo was a high school student she couldn’t do research and homework at home because she didn’t have internet access.
“I was lucky enough and blessed enough to have parents who, one could take me to a fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s or a Starbucks so I could use the internet,” said Castillo.
Now Castillo teaches in the same neighborhood where she grew up and her students still can’t get online.
“Like 95% I only had one or two students who had not even a laptop but a tablet,” said Castillo.
Hinojosa’s new plan would change that, and the south Dallas neighborhood, where Genesis teaches, is where the district will start and plan to get WiFi in every home.
Hinojosa also told NBC 5 one-on-one last week, he plans to do this not just for Dallas but the whole state.
On Monday, he announced the Texas Education Commissioner started a committee to look into getting WiFi into every home and appointed Dr. Hinojosa to head it up.
The committee will look into the logistics and cost of replicating the plan Castleberry ISD already has in place.