Posts Tagged ‘children’

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According to a new study by the Southern Education Foundation [pdf], the nation’s oldest education philanthropy, 48 percent of all public school children across the nation were eligible for free or reduced lunch in 2011.*

Even more:

  • The rate of low income students in the South was 53 percent – the highest rate among the regions of the nation.
  • For the first time in recent history, at least half of the public school students in the West were low income. (The Midwest had the next highest rate, 44 percent, and the Northeast had a rate of 40 percent).
  • The nation’s cities have the highest rates of low income students in public schools. Sixty percent of the public school children in America’s cities were in low income households in 2011. The Northeast had the highest rates for low income school children in cities: 71 percent.
  • Fifty-two percent of all students attending public schools in America’s towns (located outside urban and suburban areas) were eligible for free or reduced meals in 2011.

And the conclusion:

Within the next few years, it is likely that low income students will become a majority of all public school children in the United States.With huge, stubbornly unchanging gaps in learning, schools in the South and across the nation face the real danger of becoming entrenched, inadequately funded educational systems that enlarge the division in America between haves and have-nots and endanger the entire nation’s prospects.

*Students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at public schools if they live in households in which the income is 185 percent or less than the poverty threshold. In 2011, for example, a student in a household with a single parent with an annual income of less than $26,956 was eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch at a public school.

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The number of households with children under 18 that had at least one out-of-work parent soared by a third from 2005 to 2011, according to a new U.S. Census report on families and living arrangements. States experiencing a larger than average increase included Hawaii (95 percent), California (61 percent), Nevada (148 percent), and Colorado (56 percent) in the West and Florida (93 percent), North Carolina (54 percent), New Jersey (63 percent), and Connecticut (65 percent) in the East.

The other major finding in the report concerns marriage and the economic situation of children. While it is true that 70 percent of the children who lived with two married parents were in households that were at least 200 percent above the poverty level, marriage does not ensure economic security for children. Of the 16 million children who lived below the poverty level in 2012, 31 percent lived with two married parents—a share that is statistically unchanged compared with 2002. What is more, the percentage receiving food stamps more than doubled since 2002, from 4 percent to 11 percent, showing that children with two married parents were also vulnerable to economic distress.

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child poverty

Once again, we’ve learned that we live in the United States of child poverty.*

According to the 2013 report from the Kids Count Data Center, the child poverty rate in the United States—already high compared with other developed nations—increased dramatically as a result of the economic crisis.

  • Nationally, 23 percent of children (16.4 million) lived in poor families in 2011, up from  22 percent in 2010 (15.7 million). This means  that the number of poor children continued to climb even as the national unemployment rate was gradually declining. From 2005 to 2011, the child poverty rate rose from 19 to 23 percent, representing an increase of 3 million children.
  • The rate of child poverty for 2011 ranged from a low of 12 percent in new Hampshire to a high of 32 percent in Mississippi.
  • The child poverty rate among African Americans (39 percent) was almost three times the rate for non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) in 2011.

Growing up in poverty is clearly one of the greatest threats to healthy child development. Unfortunately, the United States continues to impoverish its children on a massive scale and to threaten their physical, emotional, and social health.

*Here are other examples.

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mike2mar 13.03.13: Steve Bell on child poverty

 

Kids are going to have to start teaching their parents because, if they don’t, there won’t be an educational system left for them.

Not if Republicans get their way. . .

In Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott wants the state’s public universities to start charging undergraduates different tuition rates depending on their major.

Students would get discounts for studying topics thought to be in high demand among Florida employers. Those would likely include science, technology, engineering, and math (aka, the STEM fields), among others.

But Art History? Gender Studies? Classics? Sorry, but the fates are cruel. Unless a university could show that local companies were clamoring to hire humanities students, those undergrads would have to pay more for their diploma.

In North Carolina, where Gov. Pat McCrory proposes to eliminate courses that offer “no chances of getting people jobs.”

McCrory said there’s a major disconnect between what skills are taught at the state’s public universities and what businesses want out of college graduates.

“So I’m going to adjust my education curriculum to what business and commerce needs to get our kids jobs as opposed to moving back in with their parents after they graduate with debt,” McCrory said, adding, “What are we teaching these courses for if they’re not going to help get a job?”

McCrory said he doesn’t believe state tax dollars should be used to help students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study for a bachelor’s degree in gender studies or to take classes on the Swahili language.

“If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it,” McCrory said. “But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”

And in Texas, where the Republican Party rejects “critical thinking.”

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

If we can’t teach our children well, then they’re going to have to help them with their youth and start teaching their parents.

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