Nearly a million children in the US live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level in 2008. There are 1. 3 million more children living in poverty today than in 2008, despite indications of economic recovery and growth (Wood 707). Children, who live in poverty, lack of basic financial resources and suffer from insufficiency that often becomes a barrier for them to pursue better life. This paper will discuss five reasons to answer why students from poorer families have lower grade and high school graduation rate than those of more affluent families.
Children attendance in school and access to education is closely related to family financial well-being. Children from poor families are less likely to attend school as compared to those of the more wealthy families. In many developing countries, it is common for children from poor families to work to supplement families’ income. Since they work, they either have very limited time and resources to study in school or not go to school at all. For example, In Indonesia, It is common to see 8 years old children selling newspapers on the streets especially after school hour.
Labor researchers claimed that child labor is one of the main reasons children drop out from school. In 1995, there are 246 million child laborers worldwide, that works in terrible work condition (Masci 274”) Children from low-income family have a a higher risk of lower academic grade and dropping out from their school compare to their peer. Children from poor families abandoned their school education working to supplement their family’ needs rather than attending classes. They do not have a conducive learning environment.
They have to divide their concentration into work and study. In many developing countries, elementary educations are not free like in the US. Parents have pay tuition to send their children to go to elementary and high school. For poor families, parents have to make very hard decision between providing food for the whole family or education for children. Most of the time, the parent decided to sacrifice children education. In areas with high poverty rate, the graduation rate among high school student is only 50%. (Wood, 709)
Children from low-income families do not consume well nutritional food and are more sick prone, which affect students’ performance in school. A health researcher, Richard L. Skolnik stated that children’ health problem and malnutrition highly affect their physical development and school performance in number of ways (42). Firstly, families sometimes delay school enrollment of sick or malnourished children. Secondly, illness and malnutrition can reduce students’ attendance at school and performance in school, ability to concentrate in their study and learn new subjects.
These factors hamper students’ grade, school enrollment and number years of learning. The quality of education in poor district is considerably lower than that of the schools in the more affluent district. Schools in poor neighborhood do not have enough budgets to hire good-qualified teacher and build adequate school facilities (Moses,”Corridor of shame”. ) Schools in poor districts have inadequate learning facilities. Students may not have access to computer, library and activity center.
Students cannot concentrate and perform well at school if inside the class they must stand or sit on the floor to listen to their teacher lecture materials due to over enrollment or limited quantity of desks and chairs. Schools in poor-district usually are not able to hire specialized teachers for every subject due to budget constraint. These teachers have to multitask teaching several subjects. Moreover, high student to teacher ratio may hamper teacher ability to give full attention to their students and their performance.
As a result, students can’t get good education from schools in poor-district. Parents’ education background and social communities’ surrounding play a big role in children’ education development. Well educated parents to teach and pass their knowledge to their children. For example, my mother is a well educated method and she helped me to learn various school materials, and she nurtures me the value of education. I believe many other parents will do the same. More affluent families want their children to pursue better education and encourage them to do so.
Students from higher income family have access to better education than students from low income family. Those students will have a better start for school by going preschool that will prepare them for their journey through school. Students from lower income have lower expectations from their parents, teacher, and peers as compared to those of more affluent students. If nobody encourages these students to do well, including them self, there will be no motivation to achieve excellent grades in school.
Students from poor family have limited support from their family members and peers to be overcome various challenges in school. This may also be true for children from higher income families to live up standards of educations as well. However, many teachers and lower income parents do not have confidence that their children can overcome the educational boundaries to escape poverty (Tilak, 196) To conclude, I have presented five possible explanations why students from lower income families have lower grade and high school graduation rate.
First, poor children may have skip school because they have to supplement family income. Second, Poor families are unable to send their children to school. Third, children from poor families may have terrible health condition that hampers their ability to study. Fourth, schools in the poor district have lower education quality. Fifth, Children from poor family do not have excellent support from their parents and environment to do well in school. I would like to present several suggestions for government to address this issue.
Government should do more for under privileged children by doing the following. First, government should provide free education for poor families. Second, government should give subsides for renovating school buildings, learning facilitates, and hire more teachers to improve education quality. Thirds, government should establish child labor policy and minimum wages policy to avoid children underage to work while the parents can earn enough money to provide better education and nutrition for their children.