But his annual query has taken on new urgency in recent days, as schools around the country shut their doors in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak. While some are migrating their daily lessons and homework assignments onto the Web, many administrators and teachers lack that digital luxury — illustrating how a public health crisis has brought to light a technological one.In states like Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington, educators say they are feeling firsthand the sting of the digital divide — the historically hard-to-erase gap between those who have speedy, modern-day Web connections and those who do not. Even in the time of TikTok, an era when every song, movie and book seem a mere click away, millions of Americans lack basic broadband or simply cannot afford it.The burden often falls heavily on younger students, who may struggle to complete their classwork even during a normal school week because of technological and economic barriers. But the disruptions wrought by coronavirus threaten to exacerbate those digital woes, raising the question of whether the U.S. government and the telecom industry should have done more to cure the country’s digital divide — well before a pandemic gripped the nation.“With coronavirus, we’re


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