Shocking but not really surprising – more than half of students in public schools in the US come from families in poverty.
This week, the Southern Education Foundation reported that 51 percent of students in grades K through 12 received a free or reduced-price school lunch in 2013, meaning that their families lived on less than 185 percent of the poverty line. According to the Washington Post, it is “the first time in at least 50 years” that more than half of the country’s public school kids have qualified as low income. In 1989, the figure was under 32 percent. In 2006, it hit 42 percent, and by 2011, it had ratcheted up to 48 percent.
Why is it not surprising? Because poverty is official policy. We keep wages down as a matter of policy, we don’t have a national health service as a matter of policy, we don’t fund universal day care as a matter of policy, and on and on.
It’s how we roll.