11 Facts About Education and Poverty in America

1. What is the Poverty Line, anyway? According to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, it is a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under 18) that earns less than $23,021.

2. The basic-needs budget for a U.S. family of 4 is $31,080 (rural Nebraska) to $64,656 (Boston, Massachusetts).

3. In 2011, nearly 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty.

4. Children living in poverty have a higher number of absenteeism or leave school all together because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members.

5. Dropout rates of 16 to 24-years-old students who come from low income families are seven times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes.

6. A higher percentage of young adults (31%) without a high school diploma live in poverty, compared to the 24% of young people who finished high school.

7. 40% of children living in poverty aren’t prepared for primary schooling.

8. Children that live below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than those who don’t live in poverty.

9. By the end of the 4th grade, African-American, Hispanic and low-income students are already 2 years behind grade level. By the time they reach the 12th grade they are 4 years behind.

10. The nation’s lowest-performing high schools produce 58% of all African-American dropouts and 50% of all Hispanic dropouts, compared to 22% of all white dropouts.

11. Less than 30% of students in the bottom quarter of incomes enroll in a 4 year school. Among that group – less than 50% graduate.

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