Posts Tagged ‘Southern Education Foundation’

51% of public school students are low-income

May 19, 2015

Percent-of-Low-Income-Students-in-PS-2015-01More than half of students attending public schools in 2013 were low-income, the first time they were in the majority since these figures were tracked.

That is, they are not necessarily poor (according to the federal definition), but they are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches.

Students can get free lunches if their parents’ incomes are 135 percent of the federal poverty threshold or less, and reduced price lunches if their parents’ incomes are 185 percent or less.

A child of a single parent could get a free lunch if the parent’s income was $19,669 or less.  The child could get a reduced-price lunch if the single parent’s income was $27,991 or less.   The reduced-price limit is $43,568 for a family of four.

Low-income students were fewer than 32 percent of students in U.S. public schools in 1989 and only 38 percent in 2000, the Southern Education Foundation reported.   Reed Jordan of the Urban Institute said the 51 percent figure reflects rising child poverty, increasing economic instability and possibly increasing number of poor immigrants.   About one in four American public school students are the children of immigrants.

Changes in eligibility rules also could affect the number.  Schools in which a majority of students are low-income now offer reduced-price lunches to all.

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