Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Southern Education Foundation Documents Poverty Concentration in Cities | janresseger

Southern Education Foundation Documents Poverty Concentration in Cities | janresseger:

Southern Education Foundation Documents Poverty Concentration in Cities

Educator Mike Rose and historian Michael B. Katz describe the greatest problem for public education in America: “Throughout American history, inequality—refracted most notably through poverty and race—has impinged on the ability of children to learn and of teachers to do their jobs.” [Michael B. Katz and Mike Rose, editors, Public Education Under Siege(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), p. 228].   The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) documented these trends again last week in a new report, A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and Nation.
There has been considerable discussion of SEF’s finding that the majority of public school children in both the southern and western regions of the United States now qualify for free and reduced lunch, classifying them as low income.  (For children to qualify for reduced price lunch, for a family of four income must be $42,643 or less.  Students who qualify for free lunch live in families whose income, for a family of four, is under $30,000.  While these numbers are, of course, higher than the federal poverty level which is just under $23,000 annually, they are an indicator of what can barely be stretched sustainably to meet the family’s needs, including housing, food, transportation, child care, and medical costs.)
What I find even more troubling than the stark data about poverty in America’s South and