Students in poverty are often deprived of the materials necessary for learning. They may not have access to high-speed internet, a computer, or other resources. Their parents may have to work longer hours or have more than one job to make ends meet. This can hinder their motivation to learn.
Poverty has a long-lasting impact on a student’s ability to learn. Understanding this dynamic will allow educators to effectively support and teach students in poor conditions. High-performing schools that educate students in poverty don’t lower expectations. Rather, they differentiate instruction and scaffold learning to meet the needs of this group. A school that aims to understand the challenges faced by students from poverty should look for ways to improve the quality of learning for every student in the classroom.
One way to improve outcomes for students in poor neighborhoods is to improve school funding. More money would be available for these programs if state legislators and school districts recognized the impact of poverty on students’ academic performance. In addition, they can coordinate strategies to address both the internal and external factors affecting students’ learning.
Georgia schools are struggling to improve the outcomes of students in poverty. A recent survey reveals that poverty affects schools in the state in many ways. School district leaders say that poverty is the top out-of-school issue in Georgia and limits a student’s ability to learn. A study by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute found that a student’s poverty level is related to their school grades.
Students in poor neighborhoods face more challenges than their peers. During the 2015-16 school year, 19 percent of people under the age of 18 lived in poverty. Additionally, 24.4 percent of students attended high-poverty schools. These schools are also more likely to serve minority students.
While the effects of poverty can be difficult to assess, education can provide a window of hope for children. Effective teachers can bridge the gap between poverty and a hopeful future. These teachers won’t accept excuses for students’ lack of academic achievement and can foster an environment that encourages students to achieve high standards.
Changing the trajectory of low-income students is imperative for Georgia. These students need an opportunity to pursue their dreams and obtain postsecondary knowledge. The state needs to ensure that every high-school student is preparing to enter the university or technical college system after graduation. This will not only help them gain financial security but also help the state’s economy.
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