Time and time again, we see reports that reflect the inadequate attention being given to funding for education. In a report done by the Southern Education Foundation titled A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and Nation, more evidence is put forth on the need to do something about the growing numbers of low income students in comparison to student funding, focusing particularly on the South, as they have recently been show to have the highest percent of low income students in all public schools.
The report shows a number of statistics in topic areas such as:
- Regional Trends
- Cities Vs. Towns
- Growth of Low Income Students
- Mismatched Growth in School Funding
- Present Gaps in Learning by Income
- And Present Private School Learning Gaps
Low income students comprise a near-majority of the nation’s public school children, based largely in the South and West United States. These students, though concentrated mainly in cities, are still found largely in suburbs, towns and rural areas of the country. The data sets show that there has been little to no effort of adjustments made to support public schools, and these are the where the students who need the most attention reside. Another issue to take note of is how the pupil expenditure is growing at a lesser pace than the growth of low income students, meaning the more low income students in a school, the less support that school receives. And the learning gap is a challenge faced both by low income students in public and private schools, in fact, it has generally been large, if not larger in private schools than in public schools across the nation.
It is most likely that in the next few years, low income students will become a majority of all public school children in the U.S. As the report so boldly states, “Without the fundamental improvements in how the South and the nation educate low income students, the trends this report documents will ricochet across all aspects of American society for generations to come.”