Low Income Students in the South and Nation

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In addition, the SEF report finds:

  • Half or more of the public school children in two regions --the South and West-- are low income, and a near majority of all students across the nation are low income (48 percent);

  • Over the last ten years, the number of low income students have grown 3-4 times greater than the growth of per pupil expenditures in three of the four regions of the country;

  • During the last decade, while achievement scores have increased for most student groups, huge gaps still remain between low income and higher income students-- particularly in regions where less is spent on students; and

  • The achievement gap between low income and higher income students is as large or larger in private schools as in public schools. These findings update a 2007 report released by SEF, A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South's Public Schools. It documented how low income students had become a majority in the South's public schools for the first time in more than four decades.


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