Majority of public school children in US classified as low income

January 10, 2014 at 1:20 am 5 comments

The threat of “within the next few years” sounds imminent in the quote below, but the graph looks like the threat is more immediate.


Within the next few years, it is likely that low income students will become a majority of all public school children in the Untied States.  With huge, stubbornly unchanging gaps in learning, schools in the South and across the nation face the real danger of becoming entrenched, inadequately funded educational systems that enlarge the division in America between haves and have-nots and endanger the entire nation’s prospects.

via “A New Majority: Low income students in the South and Nation

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. guy  |  January 10, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Doesn’t this situation simply mirror the general problem of wealth distribution in the USA these days? Just Google “USA wealth distribution” or read up on what Robert Reich has been saying. Pick a percent… say the top 5% of income earners… They do not care; they have private schools. I just heard yesterday that half of our politicians are millionaires – do they represent the general population? Sorry for being so cynical but it saddens me so much…

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  January 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I think it’s a bit different, Guy. We can argue about the impact of the wealth distribution on our society. For example, can we really prove that a millionaire can NOT understand or represent the needs of the general population? On the other hand, we KNOW that poverty impacts educational attainment for children. So I think this is a scarier statistic.

      • 3. guy  |  January 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

        Fair reply… rereading, I am a bit harsh. But I do believe that politics is an issue. Look at the minimum wage battle going on. Five states out of the fourteen southern states have NO minimum wage (AL, LA, MS, SC, TN). And two more (AR, GA) have minimum wages less than the Federal $7.25. Even at $7.25, that’s $290 (before taxes) per week.

        But there are anomalies. Florida and New Mexico’s minimum wages are greater than the Fed’s, matching much of the better rated Northeast. I’ don’t know… But it is sad.

  • 4. Garth  |  January 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I think this is the most frightening report I have ever read in regards to education.

  • 5. Jana Markowitz  |  January 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    We’re already there in Memphis. In 2011 95% of Memphis City School students qualified for free lunch. What can we do about it??? Short of closing all of the private schools (many of which are academically superior college prep schools) what would encourage people with other options to enroll their children in failing schools? (Literally, the public schools are failing to pass state minimum requirements.)

    I agree it’s terrifying. I am at a loss to suggest how to improve the schools. Does anyone have a game plan?


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