Friday, May 28, 2010

Number of high poverty schools in US increases

A new study tells us that there has been an increase in the U.S. school districts that can be called "high-poverty" districts. The districts receive that determination based on the number of students who ask for free or reduced price school lunches. A school is called a "high-poverty" school if three quarters of it's students are enrolled in the reduced lunch program.

From the Boston Globe, writer Christine Armario gives us a breakdown of the numbers and what it could mean for those students.

The US Department of Education report released yesterday found that the percent of high poverty schools rose from 12 percent to 17 percent between the 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 school years, even before the current recession was fully felt.

By comparison, the overall poverty rate for children increased from 17 percent to 18 percent, leading researchers to believe that that a higher percentage of poor children were signing up for the meal program.

In all, there were 16,122 schools considered high-poverty.

Students at these schools face a number of disadvantages:

■ They are less likely to graduate from high school; on average, 68 percent of 12th-grade students in high poverty schools graduated with a diploma in 2007-2008, compared with 91 percent at low poverty schools.

■ After graduating from a high poverty school, 28 percent enrolled in a four-year institution, compared with 52 percent of graduates from low poverty schools.

No comments: