Poverty makes it more difficult for children to succeed in school, and they come to school at a disadvantage. These students tend to have more needs than their middle-class and well-off peers. Children from poor families also are behind their counterparts on nearly every measure of academic achievement.
In 23 states, state and local governments together spend less per student in the poorest districts than those that are more affluent, according to 2012 federal data reported in The Washington Post.
The differences in funding are severe in some states. Pennsylvania spends 33 percent less on the poorest school districts per-pupil than on the wealthiest. In Missouri, the differential is 17 percent.
Across the United States, states and localities spend 15 percent less on average per pupil in the poorest districts than in the most affluent, according to the Washington Post.
This news is troubling. We need to find ways to ensure that children from low-income families receive an excellent education and their fair share of federal assistance. Our country needs to work hard to find ways to help homeless students and those in poverty -- and provide resources such as after-school and summer programs to help our poorer students succeed.
In addition, if we want to narrow the education gap, we have to help out our underprivileged students. Poverty doesn’t mean that students cannot succeed - they can. However, poverty does place additional pressure on children and add some additional challenges. Funding is one big way we can help out our students from poorer schools and give them a better chance at success.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.