3 Studies: Poverty Is Toxic to Childhood Learning
The Children’s Defense Fund reports that nearly 1 in 5 children in America is poor. For American Indian/Alaska Native children, the number is 1 in 3. The organization reports, “American Indian/Alaska Native students fall behind early on and do not catch up. More than 75 percent of fourth and eighth grade American Indian/Alaska Native students could not read or compute at grade level in 2013, compared to less than 57 percent White students and less than 51 percent Asian students.”
Child poverty is a national security issue—losing so much of the next generation to poor educational outcomes puts huge pressure on our country’s resources. It is an economic security issue if so many of our people are too poorly educated to get and hold good jobs, contribute to economic growth and pay taxes. And it is clearly a human rights issue. Britain is one country that has proved that these child poverty numbers are not written in stone. Through a multi-faceted approach and an adequately-funded national commitment to solve the problem, Britain has cut child poverty in half—from 26.1 percent in 1999 to 10.6 percent in 2010.
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