Monday, July 26, 2010

5.7 million US children live on $8 per day or less.

The children who live in extreme poverty are not equally distributed across the country, but are instead concentrated in the Southern States. In fact, according to a new report by The Southern Education Foundation, 42% of the children living in extreme poverty are found in 15 southern states. "One child out of every 11 in the South suffered the nation’s deepest levels of poverty."  The report goes on to examine the impact of extreme poverty on the education of children. They found that school districts with an extreme poverty rate of 10% or more had a median rate of student proficiency of 68%, while school districts with an extreme poverty rate of 5% or less had a median rate of student proficiency of 78% or greater. The connection between poverty and low academic achievement has long been known.  This report underscores the depth of the problem in the Southern States. Policymakers in those states may want to consider policies to reduce child poverty as part of their overall education reform efforts.

For more on state policies to reduce child poverty and to increase early academic achievement.

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