This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Half Our Public School Students Are Officially Poor

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A study released last month by the Southern Education Foundation found that nearly half (48%) of the nation's 50 million public school students, and half or more of those in most Southern and some Western states, are now low income.

The report based its findings on USDA figures for students in preschool through high school that qualified for federal free and reduced-price meal programs in the 2010-11 academic year. According to the federal guidelines, the income cap for these programs for a family of four was $40,793 in 2011.

Figures for low-income students were most prominent in 17 states, including 13 in the South and four in the West, where half or more of the students could be defined as low income. By comparison, it was just a decade earlier that only four states in the country reported low-income students as the majority, indicating the figures have more than quadrupled since 2001.

Mississippi had the highest percentage of low-income students, 71%. New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas were also in the top five. Maryland and Virginia were the only states in the Southern region where low-income children did not make up a majority of public school students -- only about one-third. Arizona was the only state in the Southwest where less than half (45%) of all public school children were low income.

Northeastern states had the lowest proportion of low-income students, but the nation's cities, including those in the Northeast, had some of the highest rates. Specifically, 60% of public school students in cities were low income in 2011, with low-income students making up at least half of enrollment in urban public schools in 38 out of 50 states. Again, Mississippi had the highest rates of low-income students in its urban areas -- a staggering 83%. Yet Northeastern cities were not that far behind, averaging 71%.

"Addressing the problem starts with an understanding of the necessity to focus more on how public schools can be more effective in educating low-income students," said Steve Suitts, vice president of the Southern Education Foundation, in an email.

Suitts said making high-quality preschool available, as well as after-school and community programs for all grades regardless of income, could help close the achievement gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers.

"With such a large growing proportion across the regions and the nation, the education of low-income students is now an issue of growth, prosperity and quality of life for the entire nation," Suitts said.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $132.54 0.88%
FB $80.54 0.07%
GOOG $540.11 -0.44%
TSLA $247.73 0.86%
YHOO $43.48 -0.44%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs