Kayla M. New Jersey

Inequality Among Educations in America

Children who attend low-income schools are not getting equal educations.

Dear Future President,

Can you imagine coming home each day hungry with barely enough food to eat? Can you imagine not having enough money to afford common technology in a household, such as televisions and computers? Can you imagine growing up and still not being unable to afford all of these things because you have a job that barely pays or no job at all? All of this because you weren’t provided with a good education that you deserved to have. Children’s educations should not be affected by the amount of money they have, or where they live, and I strongly believe that we should provide schools in low-income communities with better funds, staff, and supplies.

According to www.southerneducation.org, the website for the Southern Education Foundation, dedicated to advance equity and excellence for all students, “The latest data collected from the states by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), evidence that 51 percent of the students across the nation’s public school were low-income.” More than half of the students in the U.S. live in poverty, and poverty is extremely hard to escape unless you have a good education. Only 27% of jobs are available if you do not have a high school diploma, and children in poverty are more likely to drop out of school before they graduate. On www.dosomething.org, a website dedicated to an organization that is dedicated to making a global change for good, it states, “A higher percentage of young adults (31%) without a high school diploma live in poverty.” This shows that having a good education can help decrease the number of people in poverty because adults who didn’t finish high school are more likely to be in poverty.

Teachers at schools in low-income communities are usually not as effective on their students as teachers in communities that are more fortunate. On the website https://studentsfirst.org/EducationCrisis##Citations it states, “Our schools are twice as likely to pair poor and minority students with brand new teachers.” This statement is true, for students who are being taught by less experienced educators are less likely to retain all of the information they are taught. Teachers who are new will most likely be less knowledgeable about the topics they are teaching, or will not know how to best connect with their students. It confirms on www.dosomething.org, “In the U.S., 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.” This shows that many teachers are not experienced, for they don’t spend enough time to learn how to teach kids effectively.

In most low-income communities, the schools are underfunded, therefore they cannot afford enough supplies to help teach their students. Also from www.dosomething.org, “In one low-income community, there was only on book for every 300 children.” Books are integral to a child’s education, and schools should be able to provide their students with supplies and other things such as books and Internet. On the same website it states, “97% of low-income students rely on school for internet access, but 40 million students don’t have high speed Internet in school.” The Internet is becoming more and more important to our educations, and schools still need to afford supplies so their students can access it. According to www.moppenheim.tv, a video channel that produces broadcast-quality videos on the work of nonprofit organizations and leaders, “For schools in poor neighborhoods, this is a greater issue because 82 percent of each school’s funding relies on local funds.” Since poor communities can’t afford to pay much for their schools, 82% of the funds is less in poorer communities than it is in wealthier communities, which puts children in poverty at an educational disadvantage.

Paying for these schools to be adjusted will cost wealthier families more money. Since people in poverty can’t afford to improve their schools, wealthy families would have to pay for the improvements. Some people, however, would disagree to this. Families shouldn’t have to fund schools when no members of their family are attending. Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, a public policy think tank in Utah, and author of several books and many articles championing individual liberty, claims, “As a homeschooling father, I find this burden to be excessive and unjust.” He also argues that his children’s educations are no longer top priority because of the taxes he must pay for other children’s educations. Schools in low-income communities already tax their neighborhoods an unreasonable amount in an effort to raise money. So why should people in wealthier communities pay for the education of children in poverty? Schools in low-income communities are still underfunded, even with their community’s funds, and they need help to give kids in poverty a better education. Providing those kids with better educations will lead them down a better path in their life, and will eventually help bring them out of poverty. Poverty is an issue among all Americans, so why should only the ones in poverty be the ones to solve the issue? America needs to decrease the number of people in poverty, and if we can afford to give better educations to the children in poverty, we will come one step closer to achieving our goal.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it’s whether we provide enough to those who have too little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt This quote suggests that our country will thrive if we can help those who are in poverty, and we will have less people to provide for if we can give children in poverty better educations. His quote is important and true, and we must help the children of our country in poverty, and I ask that we do that by giving them the educations they deserve.


Kayla M

Brielle Elementary

Eighth Grade Citizens

The students in the eighth grade who wished to post their letters are featured here. Students worked for several weeks in both Social Studies and Language Arts classes, crafting their arguments. They participated in Penpal Schools Decision 2016 as well as Media Literacy Week.

All letters from this group →