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Most Kids in Public Schools from Lower-Income Families

January 25, 2015
Plain English Version

most school1Public schools in the United States range from great to awful. For more than a century, they have been avenues for success for students. Schools are community places. They are places where teachers work to teach students to read, write and learn what they have to in order to succeed.

Fifty-one years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared “War on Poverty.” The Head Start Program and many other efforts to teach children began. Even before that, the Supreme Court declared segregation in schools to be unconstitutional.

Where is the public school system today? A new report says that most of the children in public schools are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. That means they come from lower-income families.

The report says that students from these families are less well prepared for school. They need more help than children from middle-income families.

Teachers say lower-income children come to school with many problems. One said the job of teacher has expanded to “counselor, therapist, doctor, parent, and attorney.”

The federal government’s role in education keeps getting bigger. The “No Child Left Behind” act said preparing for tests in reading and math would improve school performance. The results so far are not encouraging.

As students come from poorer homes, there is sometimes a loss of community support for increasing taxes to pay for school.

Public schools were meant to be the place where the middle-class was created. That is not happening today. Many reformers say that schooling has to begin in pre-kindergarten classes. All agree that more spending is necessary.

Source: The Washington Post January 16, 2015

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