The number of poor children in the U.S. public schools is constantly growing during the last years, while secondary educational institutions in the southern and western parts of the United States estimate the majority of students to belong to this category. According to the published results of research by the South Education Foundation, 48 per cent of all students are from low-income families.
The data is based on statistics by the national school program on providing free breakfasts or partially subsidized lunches for students from families whose annual income does not exceed 40 800 United States dollars (for a household of four people), defined as poor families.
The study found that in 2011, there were 13 States in the southern and western parts of the United States, where the number of poor children was greater than their wealthy classmates and, for example, the poverty rate among Mississippi high school students reached up to 71 per cent. Ten years ago, there were only four such states. In 2011, the most rapid growth in the rate of poor students was in California, Nevada, Oregon, and New Mexico. Of a total 50 million students, 24 million claimed on reduced price meals.
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According to the Columbia University specialist Michael Rebella this explains "why schools of the United States does not show the best results in international tests. The rapid growth in the number of students from poor families is a problem for the system of education in the United States."
In 2013, the Columbia University Professor published an article in the New York Times about the myths of national equality, which states that the United States gives far less opportunities than many other industrialized countries. The reason for this, the author sees a constant discrimination and lack of quality education for all.
In turn, the study author Steve Suttes noted that the current situation in the country was caused by the effects of the financial crisis and recession in 2008, high levels of fertility in immigrant and low-income families.
Today, there is a large number of publications and research on educational reform for the long period of existence of the United States.
Among the variety of studies, research articles and reports, there is more than one issue. It is clearly visible that inequality, poverty and other factors outside of education affect the school system and student achievement in the past and the present. Still, the problem in the United States’ public schools still is maintaining equality. The country has a long and difficult socio-economic history including the ubiquitous issues concerning racism and poverty. Centuries passed, and the United States has made good progress in addressing issues of race recognition and social changes, and yet the development of new solution seems appropriate and having important implications.
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