EL PASO, Texas -- A group of concerned community members gathered Saturday morning in the Segundo Barrio to call on the El Paso Independent School District to help their children with learning loss from the pandemic.
Hilda Villegas, the leader of Familias Unidas del Chamizal, says their children in the Barrio were more affected by online learning than most areas.
“Our community has a great digital divide, and it’s not just about technology, but it’s also the low-tech skills the family has to work with,” Villegas explained.
The group wants to sit down with EPISD leaders and go over a plan that would meet their needs. This includes opening up two schools that were closed pre-pandemic. This way, Villegas says, the kids will be able to have smaller classroom sizes that are safe and effective for kids to learn in.
“Classroom size is critical to recuperating education," Villegas said.
A spokesman for EPISD clarified that the district is still waiting to receive $173 million from the federal government to be used to recover the education lost and to make schools safe for kids to return. The group wants those funds to be fairly shared with their community. If not, Villegas is afraid there will be consequences for their children's future.
“We’re going to have a generation of children from the Barrio that really are not going to have an opportunity,” Villegas said.