- Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty (PDF)
- More Than Half Of American Schoolchildren Now Live In Poverty (PDF)
The article begins:
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 in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.
“We’ve all known this was the trend, that we would get to a majority, but it’s here sooner rather than later,” said Michael A. Rebell of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College at Columbia University, noting that the poverty rate has been increasing even as the economy has improved. “A lot of people at the top are doing much better, but the people at the bottom are not doing better at all. Those are the people who have the most children and send their children to public school.”
The shift to a majority-poor student population means that in public schools, a growing number of children start kindergarten already trailing their more privileged peers and rarely, if ever, catch up. They are less likely to have support at home, are less frequently exposed to enriching activities outside of school, and are more likely to drop out and never attend college.
It also means that education policy, funding decisions and classroom instruction must adapt to the needy children who arrive at school each day.
Our Priorities Are Wacky
For literally decades I have watched as Hispanic bicyclists rode down some of the most dangerous streets imaginable on Big Box Store bikes in all kinds of weather. They never raised their voices in protest at how dangerous their plight was. They simply did it.
Now along comes some ‘elites‘ who threaten to ‘break the law‘ by riding on the sidewalks along Michigan Avenue because they are too afraid of riding in the street. They whine and bitch and moan constantly that the snow has not been removed from the bike lanes and that delivery trucks are violating their bike lane space by restocking their local pubs with the elixir of choice.
Then of course we read that bicycle advocacy groups like Active Transportation Alliance are making a grand gesture by creating ‘safe routes’ to school in neighborhoods where some 52+ schools have simply been closed for lack of funding.
All of this while hundreds of thousands of dollars are being wasted laying down pretty green paint onto pavement that has been delineated by PVC bollards so that the children of the ‘elites‘ can be ‘safer‘.
Never mind that this strategy is not working. By their own admission the mortality rates of cyclists in these newly upgraded lanes is rising. So, what is their solution to the problem? Why, more of the same and faster.
Why would any sane person throw money into creating bike lanes while having to close the schools in any given area? After all if the bike lanes are not to allow children to get to and from school, of what earthly use can they be, unless of course the ‘elites‘ want them and that is that.
Let’s consider this:
Unless a education of our children is foremost in our strategies for livable cities, then screw the installation of bike lanes. Hipsters and their friends can brave the same streets as undocumented immigrants have for the past twenty years and learn to love it, as fas as I am concerned.