• Majority of U.S. Public School Students Live in Poverty

    February 19, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Democracy, Economy, Post-Constitution America


    For the first time since the Great Depression, 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 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, a common indicator of food at-risk students living below the Federal Poverty Line.

    Bottom Feeders Not Fed

    “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 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.”

    Free, universal public education was a cornerstone of America’s growth, seeking to assimilate waves of immigrants and to provide them with the basic education needed in their day to participate in the economy, i.e., first an elementary education only, enlarged to include high school as demands changed. Things stalled out there.

    The trend toward majority-poor students in that public education system suggests further sorting out, at very early ages, of our once semi-egalitarian society into Haves (the one percent) and Have Nots (the 99 percent; the numbers are not that sharp yet, but definitely aimed that way.)

    Stupid people can’t get good jobs. But stupid people also do what they’re told to do, especially if they depend on you to keep their kids just barely out of starvation.

    We Don’t Need No Education

    In addition, the majority-poor schools are sliding away from their educational function and are becoming simply extension of the social services net.

    “When they first come in my door in the morning, the first thing I do is an inventory of immediate needs: Did you eat? Are you clean? A big part of my job is making them feel safe,” said Sonya Romero-Smith, a veteran teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary School in Albuquerque. Fourteen of her 18 kindergartners are eligible for free lunches. She helps them clean up with bathroom wipes and toothbrushes, and she stocks a drawer with clean socks, underwear, pants and shoes.

    Romero-Smith, 40, who has been a teacher for 19 years, became a foster mother in November to two girls, sisters who attend her school. They had been homeless, their father living on the streets and their mother in jail, she said. When she brought the girls home, she was shocked by the disarray of their young lives.

    “Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us awhile. Night terrors, that took a little while. Hoarding food, flushing a toilet and washing hands, it took us a little while,” she said. “You spend some time with little ones like this and it’s gut wrenching. These kids aren’t thinking, ‘Am I going to take a test today?’ They’re thinking, ‘Am I going to be okay?’”

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “Stupid people can’t get good jobs.”

      But stupid people vote for idiots who don’t give a crap about them. That is the problem.

      02/19/16 8:06 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      The government doesn’t really need nor want a continued over supply of stupid people. Where there is a lack of responsible replication awareness the government may need to step in. No one – regardless of race or income – would be deprived of a robust humping and pumping regimen -there just won’t be boundless progeny from such activity. I know this is a controversial subject but it does merit consideration.

      02/19/16 8:46 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      No one on this site isn’t grieving knowing the plight of the two little sisters described above but our late intervention is perhaps timorously misguided.

      02/19/16 9:02 AM | Comment Link

    • Bloozguy said...


      George Carlin :

      “They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

      “You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it.”

      $680B+/year on the military.

      02/19/16 10:33 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bloozguy: That $680B+ will keep rising since the Army won’t need much longer stupid enlisted people-just fancy weaponry and Boeing charges a lot per weapon. Drones, directed by computers with no joystick guy needed.

      02/19/16 11:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Is there no bottom to this country’s depth of stupidity?

      “Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who struggles with perceptions of dishonesty in polls, said Thursday that she doesn’t believe she has ever told a lie and vowed to do her best to be honest going forward.” Oh, if you believe it is the truth…

      Only a pathological liar would say they have NEVER lied.


      This dumb-ass country deserves her.

      02/19/16 1:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      02/19/16 1:32 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- and Hillary might end up holding the codes. She doesn’t even suspect that she is mentally ill- those are sadly the most dangerous types. Oh well, we have some deep space probes still sailing beyond the edge of the universe with proof that life at one time did exist on one tiny orb cicling a sun. At best it will be a cautionary tale of where not to go regarding choice of leaders.

      02/19/16 2:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      02/19/16 3:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “She doesn’t even suspect that she is mentally ill”

      I think you are right.


      02/19/16 3:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Sokollu said...


      It’s noteworthy that de facto segregation exists even in localities which are prosperous and liberal.

      Take Arlington County, VA, a small jurisdiction just outside D.C.It spends $19K per student annually and teachers work hard throughout the county to serve students. But Arlington is deeply divided on racial/ethnic lines; North Arlington is heavily white and filled with wealthy and educated families. in single-family homes South Arlington is majority-minority, with a very large immigrant population, many in apartments and living near the poverty line. Housing patterns are so entrenched as to make ‘diversity’ at the level of the individual school almost nonexistent, and the gap in test scores and other measures shows this.

      This progressive, overwhelmingly Democratic county supports new affordable housing – but only in South Arlington. The north remains white and rich; residents congratulate themselves (they mean well) as ‘progressive’ while the schools are in fact segregated both by income and race/ethnicity.

      02/19/16 4:13 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      Sokollu said…#11

      Thanks, that’s very true of everywhere in Amerika. Sad

      02/19/16 5:36 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      Thanks Peter and as others pointed out plenty of money for the endless wars and the vendors they feed $$$$$$$$$$$$$ as for us ————.

      02/19/16 5:37 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Jo6pac: yes, plenty of money for weapons with the vendors needing to be kept happy in the home state of many senators. Ike warned America but we haven’t come up with the antidote for the MIC virus. Maybe there is no vaccination. We’re just killer apes who refuse to evolve.

      02/20/16 8:28 AM | Comment Link

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