If it’s true, this is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long while.
For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.
The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade were eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program in the 2012-2013 school year.
The worst part of all this is that most of our “leaders”, like the writer of this article, view this situation as an educational problem, not a major deficiency of ourÂ larger society.
The Obama administration wants Congress to add $1 billion to the $14.4 billion it spends annually to help states educate poor students. It also wants Congress to fund preschool for low-income children. Collectively, the states and federal governments spend about $500 billion annually on primary and secondary schools, with about $79 million coming from Washington.
No!Â You don’t spend billions on helping to “educate poor students”. Poor test scores (which, of course, is what these people mean by “education”) areÂ not the primary problem here, and only one symptom of the far larger issue.
Instead, you work to change the situations that cause so much poverty in what is supposed to be an “exceptional” country, according to all those super patriotic politicians.
We spend money on improving communitiesÂ andÂ rebuildingÂ our rapidlyÂ deteriorating infrastructure, especially public transportation. Provide funds to develop clean energy and other forward looking industries.Â And rewriteÂ policies toÂ support small and medium businesses, where the real job growth potential is, instead of providing welfare for giant corporations.
Unfortunately, we’ll spend at least the next two years arguing over trivial crap whileÂ largely ignoring the growing poverty and other elephants in the room.