Improving Education for Low-Income Students
"Until we reach equality in education, we can't reach equality in the larger society." -Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Children are our future, but we aren’t investing in them wisely. Year after year, budgets are slashed for spending on childhood education, preschools, nutrition, social services, and care, with only 10% of national government funding being spent on children. This number is expected to drop to less than 8% by 2025.
Unfortunately, many families are unable to pay for these services on their own, causing many children to suffer. The United States has some of the highest rates of childhood poverty in the developed world, with 20% of people under the age of 18 living in poverty. When you look at poverty rates of students who attend our public schools, the number is even worse, with 51% of students being considered low income (as of 2013).
Children living in poverty
Public school students living in poverty
Students from low-income families face many challenges. For starters, they are more likely to experience hunger, and hungry students receive lower test scores, experience more behavioral problems, and are more likely to experience mental and physical health issues. Impoverished children are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend college than their wealthier peers. Those who experience poverty as a child are far more likely to experience poverty as adults.
Low-income students are up against a system that is designed to fail them. Our charities help low-income students across all age groups. Jumpstart provides literacy and language improvement to preschool-aged children. Afterschool Alliance conducts research on afterschool programs for grades K-12, and Communities in Schools provides direct service to these age groups. Year Up helps low-income young adults find meaningful and well-paid jobs and/or obtain college credits for free.