More, Who Can Afford To, Are Leaving Public School

New Report Says a Majority of Public School Students Are Poor. Why Else Would They Be There?

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I’m not sure I understand why anyone would be surprised at the news reported by Bloomberg: “Majority of U.S. Public-School Children Are Living in Poverty.”

A majority of U.S. public-school children are living in poverty for the first time in half a century.

Fifty-one percent of public-school students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch in 2013, the Southern Education Foundation said in a report. In Mississippi, the poorest state, 71 percent of students were in the category, a proxy for low income.

“The economy has simply failed to provide enough higher-income jobs to keep folks from being in or near poverty,” Steve Suitts, vice president of the Atlanta-based foundation, said Friday by e-mail.

All right, but a half a century ago I suspect there were far fewer church schools, private schools for middle class parents, and far fewer parents who homeschooled. I agree that this economy is terrible, but would this demographic information really be evidence of how bad it is?

An increase in births among low-income families and a decline among wealthier Americans contributed to the change in poverty rate, said Suitts, who wrote the report. Poor children last made up a majority of public-school students in the 1960s, a trend that was reversed through President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, Suitts said.

It is wonderful news that families are having more children. The idea that Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty did anything but created more permanent, intractable poverty, is a fairy tale. The fact that such a claim would be passed off as unquestionable fact raises question about the accuracy of the story.

A much more likely scenario is that middle class people are doing all they can to find alternatives to government schools. This is good news.

But it also means that poorer people are stuck in these propaganda centers to be taught loyalty to Big Government.  That is very bad news.