The Effects of Poverty on Education in the United States
Poverty remains an urgent problem in some
states and has serious implications for the nation's education sector.
Poverty is a
complex problem that causes a range of diverse challenges for children and
their families. Although the economy of the United States is showing signs of
improvement, poverty remains a serious issue in many states, particularly in
the South. According to a report published recently by the Southern Education
among schoolchildren living in the South is an urgent problem.
The report indicates that in many states, the
majority of children attending public schools come from low-income families.
This pattern is particularly pronounced in the South and West. In the 2011
academic year, Mississippi had the highest proportion of students in public
schools from low-income families at 71 percent. In Oklahoma, another state in
which ChildFund operates, this figure was 61 percent, and in Texas,
approximately 50 percent of public schoolchildren came from low-income
households. South Dakota, the other state where ChildFund supports programs, is
stronger at 37 percent, but the American Indian children we serve there are
much more likely to live below the poverty line than this statistic
Children from low-income families represented a majority
of public schoolchildren in all but two out of 15 Southern states.
These statistics are troubling for a number of
reasons, but one of the most disturbing is that low household income
correlates closely with poor achievement in school.
lower-income families are more likely than students from wealthier
backgrounds to have lower test scores, and they are at higher risk of
dropping out of school. Those who complete high school are less likely to
attend college than students from higher-income families. For some children,
these obstacles present unique challenges in breaking the cycle of
generational poverty and reduce their chances of leading rewarding,
ChildFund works in several U.S. communities where
poverty remains high, including Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. One of the most
effective ways you can invest in a child's life and bring hope to his or her
family is by becoming a child sponsor. For just $35 per month for a U.S.
child, you can help provide educational support, preventive health care, early
childhood development programs and other important resources to families and
children living in poverty. Sponsoring a
child will make a difference that can last a lifetime, so please consider
becoming a child sponsor today. Your generosity will make a world of difference
to a child in need.