WaPo reporting: Study: Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West

The Washington Post is reporting on the results of a study showing not only a long-term trend of poverty in the south, but a recent spike in the number of students on the Free & Reduced lunch program; an indication of low-income.

A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades, according to a new study that details a demographic shift with broad implications for the country.

The analysis by the Southern Education Foundation, the nation’s oldest education philanthropy, is based on the number of students from preschool through 12th grade who were eligible for the federal free and reduced-price meals program in the 2010-11 school year.

….. “When you break down the various test scores, you find the high-income kids, high-achievers are holding their own and more,” Rebell said. “It’s when you start getting down to schools with a majority of low-income kids that you get astoundingly low scores. Our real problem regarding educational outcomes is not the U.S. overall, it’s the growing low-income population.”

Read more >> Study: Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West

Download these relevant reports:

[DSW opinion:]

This does not bode well for the overall fiscal health of the south and may actually indicate an even larger gap in disparity. And of the southern states, Georgia ranks last or next to last in student achievement. We have a very long way to go and the first step is for everyone to get their heads out of the sand and quit telling politically-motivated lies. You can’t fix what you refuse to admit exists. We still live with carry-over thinking from a centuries old antebellum history. The ‘race’ issue in Georgia is really more a class issue. To his credit, Michael Thurmond recently admitted that achievement is more related to income than race and he is working to address issues in our low-income schools.

DeKalb county is a prime example of the disparity in achievement between students from low-income and high-income families. The students from high-income (generally two parent) households continue to score just fine and will probably always do well. But the low-income families are unable to provide the tutoring, support and extra life experiences that make learning easier. This is why we continue to rant that our Title 1 schools need to hire support teachers who work with students one on one or in small groups, especially in the early years, to ensure a strong grasp of reading and mathematics. Without a solid foundation, the road ahead will get very rocky – often too rocky to complete the journey.

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
This entry was posted in Title 1, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to WaPo reporting: Study: Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West

  1. Sylvia Richardson says:

    Since our Governor has refused to extend Medicaid, the future for the poor and near poor will only get worse in Georgia and most of the south.

  2. DSW2Contributor says:

    Also of interest is this October 16, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Richer Americans Like Living With Poorer People Until They Have Kids”:

    Here is a short quote of two key paragraphs from that WSJ article:
    “Put simply, many Americans, especially those with resources, like residing in socioeconomically-diverse areas when they’re younger, but once they have kids, and want the best for them, they head out — not just to the suburbs, but to suburbs with better schools and richer people and less crime — even if they have to pay up.

    In aggregate, it means that better-off Americans are, as a group, increasingly forming their own enclaves and segregating themselves. That could mean worse-quality schools and parks for the children of the lower-income people being left behind. If well-off Americans no longer live near the worse-off, the researchers worry, the nation’s economic resources—and tax revenue—will be pooled in fewer and fewer areas—making expenditures in poorer areas more difficult.”

  3. September says:


    We saw this during the DeKalb redistricting process 3(?) years ago. I attended 2 meetings and heard parents comment, more than once, “I don’t want my child attending school with those children from XYZ school.” Parents were very afraid of what would happen to their child’s education, if low income children were assigned to their neighborhood school. The reality is that low income children benefit from attending middle class schools. Economic integration can be accomplished without compromising the academic achievement of the middle class students. A good research-based article that explores this topic is “Profiles of Success: Colorado Schools that are Closing the Achievement Gap” http://www.apaconsulting.net/uploads/reports/11.pdf

  4. howdy1942 says:

    I just look so forward to July 2014 when we vote for a new school board. I’m anxious to see what a smaller sized board can do.

  5. OH!!! GUESS WHAT?!!! The date of the non-partisan election may change — stay tuned!! Could be held in MAY!!

    Federal judge’s ruling could alter Georgia 2014 election calendar

    Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/07/22/2594118/federal-judges-ruling-could-alter.html#storylink=cpy

    IF anyone is thinking of running – you had better get your ball rolling!!!!!

  6. dsw2contributor says:

    Another really interesting article was this August 26 article in Wired, “The Best Map Ever Made of America’s Racial Segregation”.

    Their map of the Atlanta area is very informative.

  7. Cedar says:

    It’s not just the school systems, there are now more people on Government assistance now than there are people with full-time jobs.

  8. @ cedar0915: Please document your claim. We really appreciate it when people include links to show where they got their info from. For example, we easily found one for you — Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov’t Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-bureau-means-tested-govt-benefit-recipients-outnumber-full#sthash.DZbfxw9X.dpuf

    But then again, it’s debatable — http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/oct/30/charlie-sykes/charlie-sykes-says-today-there-are-more-people-wel/

    It’s helpful for others and makes your comments more credible.

Comments are closed.