Political Hedge

16 01 2015



Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

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 under the federal program for free and reduced-price lunches in the 2012-2013 school year. 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.

Or, it could mean that eligibility rules for the school lunch program have been made more generous, or they’re being ignored, here in the Era of Hope and Change, just to be able to sign more students up, to hedge politically against “budget cuts” (i.e. reductions in the spending increases) of the school lunch program.

The data show poor students spread across the country, but the highest rates are concentrated in Southern and Western states. In 21 states, at least half the public school children were eligible for free and reduced-price lunches — ranging from Mississippi, where almost three out of every four students were from low-income families, to Illinois, where one out of every two was low-income.

Meaning black and Hispanic.  In the Deep South, the public schools are even more black than the population demographics of that age group would suggest, because so many white students are wisely kept away from the blackboard jungles, and have been ever since Black Monday in May 1954.

One more thing:  The evidence and statistical regression coefficients might belie me, but I’ve always been bothered by the use of involvement in the school lunch program as a proxy for academic deficiency.


This suggests that at the very least, NSLP participation rates are not good indicators for poverty rates.



One response

31 01 2015
Sunday Wrap-Up On a Saturday | Countenance Blog

[…] “Won’t verify” means “don’t want to verify.”  Just like in the school lunch matter, Obama and Co. are engaged in a full throated Cloward-Piven strategy to flood these programs with […]

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