Spencer Tritt

Coronavirus has highlighted the digital divide among low-income as well as rural students. Schools that don’t send students home with laptops rushed them equipment so they could do their homework online.

School administrators say some parents claim to have internet access, but it may only be through a phone plan. Districts have distributed hot spots for families without a plan or where service is undependable.

Peter Medlin

Illinois students have been e-learning for more than a month now. Reliable internet connectivity is still one of the major hurdles for many rural districts.

Alex Moore is the superintendent at Montmorency. They’re a K-8 district in Whiteside County with around 230 students.

“On a good day, I get four megabytes per second download speed, so I knew that was going to be an issue,” he said. “About half of our families probably have decent internet.”

Even that “good day” download speed doesn’t meet the FCC’s minimum recommendation for e-learning.

Sharing Experiences In Illinois Law Enforcement In Large And Small Communities

Feb 7, 2020

The Illinois Humanities series “The Country and the City: Common Ground in the Prairie State” addresses issues affecting both rural and urban Illinoisans. As part of the series, we get two perspectives from Illinois communities nearly 400 miles apart.

Carla Redd is an assistant deputy chief with the Rockford Police Department. Rockford is a historically industrial, ethnically diverse city near Illinois' northern boundary.

In Rural Illinois, It Takes Green To Go Green

Oct 16, 2019
Sarah Jesmer

Down the road from Ogle County’s Solid Waste office in Oregon is a can crusher. It looks like a top heavy white shed, a rectangle on top of a square.

You could bring your aluminum cans here and get 25 cents per pound for them. The operator, Dan Roos, said that’s if the computer that does the crushing ever gets fixed.

Julie Catey of Broadwell loves shopping at the Dollar Tree store in neighboring Lincoln.

Rural Homelessness An Overlooked Problem

Dec 8, 2015
Shannon Butler

A quieter, harder-to-detect problem than its urban counterpart, rural homelessness nonetheless leaves its mark on people and communities.

“I think the perception for many people is homelessness is primarily an urban problem that they associate with folks you might see out on the street who have literally no place to go,” says Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois, a statewide advocacy organization. “But we really try to make the point that there’s homelessness in all parts of the state.”