CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Poor access to the internet and insufficient broadband upgrades is an issue Dr. Nancy Vera, the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers president, said is affecting several teachers and principals at CCISD schools.
“When they fall short like that and yet they expect the teachers and the students to work off the broadband at the schools, that causes problems,” Vera said.
She added teachers are unable to use online programs to teach lessons or conduct tests, forcing them to use an alternative way or not teach it at all. She said sometimes they even have to use their personal phone or laptop for WiFi.
“We can’t go and reteach some of the things because they expect us to be on certain subjects at a certain time and if we’re not, we get dinged on our evaluations,” Vera said.
She said bad WiFi doesn’t allow students to use technology that will prepare them for the workforce.
“We do have to keep up with the times and if students don’t learn on the internet and don’t learn with all of the equipment that we’re supposed to have in the classroom, then how are they going to be able to function in these high-tech corporations or companies?” Vera said.
However, Sean Babcock, CCISD’s chief technology officer said insufficient broadband isn’t an issue at schools. He said CCISD started upgrading all the WiFi at the high schools in 2018, followed by the middle schools in 2019.
He added last year, they made upgrades in phase one of the upgrades project and they’re currently in phase two of improving internet at elementary schools, so more devices can connect to the WiFi.
“As we all know, technology changes on a regular basis. The more technology that’s available, you have to be proactive and try and take care of those needs,” Babcock said.
Tuloso-Midway ISD said they were hacked for the first time almost two weeks ago. They provided KRIS 6 News with a statement about the issue.
“At some time in the early morning hours of January 31, the district discovered a security incident that impacted our systems," statement read. "Steps were immediately taken to protect the environment, including disconnecting our systems to protect against any further harm. The network was down for a limited time, but instruction continued. All functionality to the classrooms was restored by February 2."
According to the statement, an investigation by external cybersecurity experts is still in progress.
"This is the first incident of this kind experienced by the district and if necessary, further steps to safeguard the network will be taken when the investigation is complete,” the statement read.