EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Most students in the El Paso area are now on their second week of remote learning. Remote learning is posing challenges for both students and parents, especially for low-income families.
One El Paso mother is unable to work because she is helping her three children navigate through remote learning.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by having to go room to room because they’re separated, so it’s like one gets attention but the other two lack attention,” said El Paso mother Brianna Ramirez. “And I can’t go help them if they need any assistance.”
Ramirez’s two older children work in their bedrooms while she spends most of her time helping her youngest son, who is in first grade. All three children attend schools in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD).
Ramirez told KTSM 9 News that she just graduated from Park University and has been unable to get a job since she needs to be home with her children.
Ramirez says she is a single mother who is separated from her husband — who also works during the day — so there is no one else to help care for the kids. “And we don’t have the opportunities like other people who have daycare or can send their kids for that,” she said.
Ramirez said she knows people who have hired a nanny; however, that’s not an option for her because she can’t afford one.
“The higher class — they have the opportunity and the benefits to hire people to do that. And if they look into data after all this goes on, it’s going to show that the children in poverty and (that are) low income, we’re going to be the ones behind,” said Ramirez.
“The going rate for a tutor starts at $20 an hour and most families can’t afford that,” said Christal Patty, owner of Patty Cake Nannies, an Albuquerque-based nanny staffing agency with staff in El Paso.
Patty Cake Nannies thinks it has a solution for low-income families: a tutor share program that the agency launched a month ago.
“It’s an option where two or more families can come together with their friends, their kids’ friends can come together and maybe put together a small bubble group,” Patty said.
Families who can’t afford a tutor can split the cost.
However, Ramirez says right now she has no extra money to spare for a tutor. She’s hopeful her kids will go back to school soon so she can get a job.