Most Public School Students Live in Poverty

(CommunityMatters) Mind Boggling and Shameful:

“Most [U.S.] public school students now living in poverty,” by Lyndsey Layton, national education reporter: “For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation. The Southern Education Foundation [the nation’s oldest education philanthropy] reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade … were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. …

public school

“‘When they first come in my door in the morning, the first thing I do is an inventory of immediate needs: Did you eat? Are you clean? A big part of my job is making them feel safe,’ said Sonya Romero-Smith, a veteran teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary School in Albuquerque. … She helps them clean up with bathroom wipes and toothbrushes, and … stocks a drawer with clean socks, underwear, pants and shoes. … The job of teacher has expanded to ‘counselor, therapist, doctor, parent, attorney,’ she said. …

“Schools, already under intense pressure to deliver better test results and meet more rigorous standards, face the doubly difficult task of trying to raise the achievement of poor children … The new report raises questions … about whether states and the federal government are devoting enough money – and using it effectively – to meet the complex needs of poor children.”


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