Local school districts that want to use online courses and computers instead of paper for assignments have a problem: The number of families who can't afford laptops and tablets is rising.
More than a third of the county's public school students are enrolled in free and reduced-price lunch programs. That includes nearly half the students at Clark-Pleasant, Franklin and Greenwood schools and more than 60 percent in Edinburgh.
Schools can't expect students from the families to pay $200 to $500 for the tablets or laptops they would need for an online course or to write and turn in papers electronically. That's why districts including Edinburgh and Center Grove have purchased the devices for students who might need them.