October 19, 2016
Dear Future President,
Imagine living on the streets with your family. You have almost no money, most of which you need to save up for food, and you have to take care of your younger brother. You are constantly telling him that it will be alright, and that everything will turn out okay. Now imagine adding even more stress and pressure into your already anxiety filled life by going to school. Many studies show that adding the stress of living in poverty to the stress of school can lower grades. Although many kids that live in poverty still go to school, they are not doing well and that needs to be fixed.
There have been many studies that show that poverty can negatively affect a child’s education. “About 90% of America's children go to public school. Test scores clearly show that low-income students are far less proficient in math and reading than their better-off peers,” according to Tami Luhby, CNN. This means that although many people are going to school, people living in poverty are not doing as well as their classmates. This can cause emotional problems, and make it hard to get jobs. Now the question is, why?
One reason that they aren’t doing as well is because as young kids the are not getting the crucial things that they need in order to grow up emotionally healthy says Eric Jensen, ASCD. Another reason is that the schools don’t have good funding. Eric Jensen, ASCD claims, “High-poverty, high-minority schools receive significantly less state and local money than do more prosperous schools, and students in such schools are more likely to be taught by teachers who are inexperienced or teaching outside their specialties.” This means that since the school doesn’t have enough money since they are in a poorer town. Then people that don’t really know what they are doing end up teaching children. A second reason is that when these kids are young, since their family undergoes so much pressure, the children are not properly cared for. Jensen also states that children that are living in poverty don’t usually receive this very important care. Since they need love, support, and safety, when the live in poverty they are not cared for as much.
This issue can affect everyone, even the entire nation. It is especially harmful when the child experiences economical hardship when they are young, and when the are constantly in deep poverty. “ High rates of child poverty also exact a serious toll on the U.S. economy. Before the recession, economists estimated that child poverty cost the United States $500 billion per year in lost labor force productivity, spending on health care and criminal justice. Each year, child poverty reduces productivity and economic output by about 1.3 percent of our gross domestic product. These costs are undoubtedly higher today given the increase in economic hardship.” the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) states.
Some people may say that helping the children living in poverty can be a waste of money. “Republicans in Congress have been wary of new spending programs, arguing that more money is not necessarily the answer and that federal dollars could be more effective if redundant programs were streamlined and more power was given to states.” Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post claims. I believe that it is not a waste of money because since this issue could affect so many people.
Now what you are probably asking is what can we do to fix this? Right now, states are spending approximately $500 billion annually on primary and secondary schools according to Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post. She also talked about how the Obama administration wants congress to add one billion dollars to the $14.4 billion it spends already to help states educate poorer families.
Although there will always be the people living on the streets, we can help them get better education. This issue affects not only the children, but also people all over the country. We can donate more money, and help get better teachers to high poverty areas. You can help them get better grades and help our country.