Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 23

Running Head: HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

How Does Poverty Affect Performance in School?


Hunter Monisky
Global Studies and World Languages Academy
Tallwood High School

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

2
Abstract

Poverty is a pressing and ongoing problem all over the world. There are multiple factors that
come into play when considering how poverty affects education, and what solutions can help
with this conflict. This in-depth research paper explains poverty factors that affect education and
children living in poverty. The paper compares Americas and Nicaraguas educational systems
and how these factors impact the country and their educational system. From social programs to
government funding, the correlation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement is
widely understood. Solutions are provided in order to show that this problem needs to be
addressed. The research includes online sources from search engines and databases, and an
interview in order to collect information. Overall, this paper serves to educate readers on the
barriers children living in poverty face during their educational life and what solutions are in
place in order to encourage students in the community of lower socioeconomic status to receive a
quality education and understand its significance.

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

Table of Contents
Abstract

Table of Contents

Introduction

Limitations

Methodology

Literature Review

Discussion

10

Conclusion

18

References

20

Appendix A: Interview Transcript

23

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

Introduction
Poverty is directly linked to academic success because as research shows, poverty affects
education in multiple ways. Educational research establishes a correlation between
socioeconomic status and academic performance. Although there has been focus on increasing
test scores in impoverished areas around the globe, research shows that students living in poverty
are continuing to fall behind the rest of the population. Unless the socioeconomic statuses of
students rise or schools improve, they will continue to struggle to obtain a quality education. The
two countries studied in this research paper, the United States and Nicaragua, will showcase how
much of an impact poverty has on education.
More than one in five children in the United States live in poverty (Sosnowski, 2015).
America envisions that education will equalize the achievement gap between the poor and the
non-poor but the outcome has not been significant. Research estimates that about $500 billion
per year is associated with the child poverty level, but so far education policies and government
funding has not significantly decreased the level of poverty in America (Berstein, 2007). A big
factor in low-income families is parental occupation and income because children follow in their
parents footsteps. The program Career Advance collaborates with educational programs such as
Early Head Start so that parents may continue an academic track while their children are in
school (Sparks, 2014). Although America is a developed country, it continues to struggle with
childrens education in impoverished areas.
Half of all children in Nicaragua live in poverty (Lakhani, 2015). Because this
developing country has such a high poverty rate (42.5%) most young people opt out of going to
school in order to work. Many children in Nicaragua lack motivation to go to school because
they do not understand the impact of a quality education (Lakhani, 2015). UNICEF estimates

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

that 500,000 Nicaraguan children are not enrolled in the educational system. Although the
Nicaraguan government has created educational programs and incentives for students to learn,
poverty still plagues the country, as they are the second poorest country in the Americas. Despite
these programs, families still cannot afford to send their children to school because of the cost of
uniforms, books, and transportation.
It is important to understand the effects of poverty on education because they are
detrimental in todays society. Factors such as motivation, government funding, social programs,
and parental advancements impact a students education. Education is the process of learning and
acquiring information, but if students in the United States and Nicaragua are affected by poverty
then their education is affected as well.
Limitations
The author of this paper was faced with multiple limitations throughout this research
because poverty is an emotional and broad topic and the author herself faced many limitations.
Specific Research
Because the author is researching the United States and Nicaragua, databases can be very
specific to a certain event or area within the country. Although the author has found lots of
information regarding poverty in the two countries, it has been difficult finding the effects of
poverty and education within the countries.
Access
The author solely relied on the school databases and the internet for research so this
limited the amount of research found on the topic. The author wishes she could have used
university databases in order to find specific research regarding America and Nicaragua.

Experience

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

Because the author herself is not an educator, she has had no previous experience with
educating in lower income or Title 1 schools. This would have been a good primary source
considering the educator would be communicating in the classroom and understanding the
effects of poverty on education.
Methodology
The methodology associated in this paper is both qualitative and quantitative from an
interview and opinions to statistics and research data. In order to make this paper strong, it was
not too difficult to find the research needed in order to prove and argument my paper. These
methods of researching allowed me to find the appropriate data needed for the research. The
author first researched on databases at school and search engines to find useful information. The
multiple interviews were held to get opinions from experts in the poverty and education area.
Databases and search engines allowed my research to correlate and have relevancy.
Throughout the research from online resources, the author read and analyzed how the source
could be correctly used and decided if the source was worth citing and being used the research.
Most of the online sources found are quantitative data rather than qualitative. The content in the
databases can be used as good validation points as well as a strong outline.
A creative and unique way the author researched was through videos. From YouTube to
Ted Talks, there were plenty of resources regarding the American, as well as the Nicaraguan,
school system. The author was able to take notes on the content of the videos and also use the
resources the video had published. In order to validate the videos, the author researched the
author or speaker of the video and researched the sites they used to find information.
The author of this research paper interviewed Dr. Sterling White, the principal of College
Park Elementary in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. White has had 21 years of experience with

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

children who live in poverty since College Park Elementary is a Title 1 school. He previously
worked for schools in Norfolk, Virginia and 2015 was his first year being a principal in Virginia
Beach. It was interesting to hear from him how the economy has significantly affected families
because parents lost jobs and overtime lived below the poverty line. The author was able to learn
more about Title I schools, the school-wide and assisted programs, and the funding that coincides
within the school.
By using databases, search engines, informational videos, and interviews, the author is
able to create a strong paper which reveals how poverty has an effect on student performance in
school. All of the sources are valid and show relevancy, which makes it easy for the author to use
the specific data and research found.
Literature Review
In this literature review, American and Nicaraguan poverty will be linked to how it affects
education. Each article has a different take and point of view. The sources the author has chosen
refer to include statistics, graphs, analyses, as well as opinions. All references are credible and
valid, and the author has taken time to review each site and its credibility.
The Tico Times (2013)
This Costa Rican news source talks about Nicaraguas failing education system. A decent
amount of statistics are included as well as quotes and other viable sources that be used. The
article reveals the presidents strategies to combat low education level and the outcome. Because
students who attend school must have a uniform, books, and stationary, the amount of students
attending school is fairly low because families cannot afford the supplies. The article shows the
governments response in 2013 to increase the education spending budget for new desks, more
schools, and higher teacher pay. Future promises to improve education include increased teacher

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

pay and teacher-training programs. The author of this paper can efficiently use quantitative data
to support research paper.
The Center for Poverty Research (2014)
This provides an official data breakdown from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014 in order
to reveal poverty rate statistics. Percentages are easy for a reader to understand how much
poverty occurs in the United States and how it affects a student getting a degree or entering
college. Two graphs are shown on this site; the first one is the percentages put into a graph in
order to visually see, and the second shows the entire educational attainment of the U.S.
population. The overall breakdown reveals that a person 25 and older who has no high school
diploma is the most likely to live in poverty, and the average person who lives in poverty did not
have a college education.
The Borgen Project (2014)
A nonprofit organization that addresses poverty, this specific article relates poverty to the
education system in Nicaragua. The article goes into depth about how the school system works,
teacher salaries, and also the education budget from the government. This article reveals that the
combination of abbreviated school days and student and teacher poverty results in a low level of
motivation to get an education. This is an informative article because there are lots of strong
points and details.
The Guardian (2015)
There are several references to the World Education Forum, UNICEF, US Department of
Labor, and the Education for All report. This article is straightforward and points as to why
Nicaraguan poverty leads to a lack of education. A strong point mentioned in this article is that
motivation and boredom are a big factor in poverty. Also, this article refers to child labor because

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

the students who dont go to school end up working since they cannot afford books or even food.
Although Nicaragua has made efforts to terminate all child labor laws and jobs by 2020, the
future does not look the brightest in that direction.
The World Bank Poverty Assessment (2015)
Focused on Nicaragua, the information in this source ranges from an overall poverty
profile to Educational Public Expenditures. There is a lot of background on Nicaraguas
government and what resources the country needs in order to improve their education and
poverty situation. Funding for the education sector is poorly spent which results in inadequate
funding for basic services. Nicaragua spends $55 per year on primary education per student.
Compared to other Latin American countries, where over $100 is used per student, Nicaragua
does not focus steadily on improving education levels. This is a credible source because the
information comes from the World Bank, and it can be used multiple times throughout the
authors paper.
Child Fund International (2015)
The CFI is a nonprofit organization that creates awareness about certain issues globally.
The article, The Effects of Poverty on Education in the United States, talks specifically about the
effect of poverty on education in the United States. The article specifically addresses the South
because students in that region are the most likely to drop out of school if living in poverty.
These demographics are shifting which creates a new conflict economically and socially within
the United States.

CNN Money (2015)

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

10

This source contains picture graphs and information about low-income schools in
America and how this will affect the future of the nations workforce. In 2013, the Southern
Education Foundation report revealed that over 50% of students qualify for free or reduced
lunch. According to a chart, test scores show that low-income students are less proficient in math
and reading than their peers. This affects the workforce because as more students drop out, the
gap between necessary skills and education increases. America worries about the future shortage
of job candidates.
ASCD (2014)
The ASCD provides readers with books, articles, and links to education-related topics.
The second chapter of a book called Teaching with Poverty in Mind relates poverty to academic
performance. This source is important because it is not focused on a specific country, so the
information can apply for the United States and Nicaragua. This article shows that emotional and
social challenges, chronic stress, cognitive lags, and health issues all factor into academic
success. As the article does into deep research about each topic, there are charts, graphs, and
citations in order to support it. At the end of each topic, there are action steps which allow the
reader to become knowledgeable about what to do in each situation.
Discussion
Education has always been effected by poverty. Socioeconomic status is the measured
combination of education, income, and occupation (Education and Socioeconomic Status, 2015).
Children who come from low-income families tend to face risk factors within their education.
Students in low-income families are disengaged from school, affected by parental income,
worried about eating, focused more on working, and faced with emotional and social challenges.
These factors lead to poor academic achievement. Most poverty is generational, meaning the

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

11

children who were raised in poverty continue to live in poverty and raise their children in poverty
(S. White, personal communication, December 8, 2015). Families of lower socioeconomic status
areas are less likely to have financial resources and time to academically support their children
The majority of United States public schools are currently recognized as low-income
(Layton, 2015). A federal program that has helped the educational system in lower income areas
is the Title I grant program. In order to qualify, schools must obtain 40% or greater of students
living below the poverty line (Title I, 2015). The funds given to schools are used for hiring staff,
purchasing instructional material, and providing professional development. These additional
resources support children living in lower socioeconomic status communities. The Title I assisted
program only allow Title I funds to be used for specific students who live below the poverty line.
The funds can be used for field trips, lunches, academic specialists, etc. (S. White, personal
communication, December 8, 2015). American schools have major implications for the future of
the nations workforce (Luhby, 2015).
Nicaragua, being the second poorest country in the Americas (Lakhani, 2015), has a very
poor educational system. America would classify all of Nicaraguas schools as Title I. According
to several articles such as the Borgen Project (2014), Tico Times (2013), and Empowerment
International (2009), Nicaragua spends the least amount of government funding on education.
Also, Nicaraguas school systems are only half-day so the other half of the day children will
work, or watch over younger siblings. Abbreviated school days as well as student poverty has
resulted in poor education in Nicaragua (Ambrecht, 2014).

Motivation

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

12

Between America and Nicaragua, the lack of motivation to attend and succeed in school
is a real problem. Students who are bored or put little effort into schoolwork are unlikely to
benefit from educational standards and curriculums. According to the American Psychological
Association, in high school, the dropout rate for students from low-income families was 8.7
percent in 2008 compared to 2% from higher income families. Students are less likely to have
support at home, are less frequently exposed to enriching activities outside of school, and are
more likely to drop out and never attend college (Layton, 2015). UNICEF estimates that 55% of
Nicaraguan children complete primary school. While attendance rates have increased in the past
ten years, university entrance exams demonstrate a continuous pattern of poor education quality
in schools (Ambrecht, 2014). Families living in poverty seem to have a difficult time getting
their children to attend school continuously. The children and parents are faced with certain
barriers such as transportation, illness, and younger siblings who must be taken care of (White,
2010). This results in a lack of motivation in students and low attendance in schools.
Parental Income
These children can learn at the highest levels, but you have to provide for them, said by
Cary Wright, Mississippis state superintendent of education (Layton, 2015). Parental income
directly effects education because the child might not see their parents often, they might need to
watch their younger siblings, or they cannot attend educational field trips due to lack of financial
resources. In 2011, nearly one-third of all children in the United States lived in a household
where no parent had full-time, year-round employment (Coley & Baker). When the economy
went downhill, many parents lost their jobs. Many people who werent living poverty now are
because of their unemployment status. This has increased tension between families since they
werent originally in this position (S. White, personal communication, December 8, 2015).

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

13

Whereas in Nicaragua, strict guidelines exist for what supplies each child needs in order to attend
a school: a uniform, books and stationery. Many families cannot afford such necessities and poor
children therefore are excluded (Hutt, 2013). Parental income is a major factor in the effects of
poverty on education because of detrimental factors such as transportation, meals, school
supplies, and presence to support children academically.
Hunger
Hungry students have difficulty concentrating at school; they are often tired, and poor
nutrition can negatively affect their behavior (White, 2010). According to a Southern Education
Foundation report, the share of school kids who qualify for free or reduced lunches crossed the
50% threshold in 2013. Although the American economy is improving, the growth in
immigration is bringing more low-income children into the school system and higher income
families are having fewer children (Luhby, 2015). In addition, 5.7 percent of U.S. households
had very low food security. In these households, the food intake was reduced and eating patterns
were disrupted during the year because of limited resources (Coley & Baker, n.d.). Fabretto, a
nonprofit organization, works in Nicaragua and is committed to eradicating extreme poverty and
hunger. This organization works in collaboration with public schools to serve meals to over
10,000 students each day. School meals prevent child malnutrition, improve academic
performance, and provide an incentive for children to attend school. Based on the data collected
between 2000 and 2006, UNICEF estimates that 10% of children under five were moderately or
severely underweight (Pulugurtha, 2009). Although fruits and vegetables are abundant in
Nicaragua, the local diet consists of rice and beans. Many children suffer from hidden hunger
which means they eat but lack micronutrients they need to grow and thrive (Hewey & Corrales,
2014). Malnutrition decreases the chances of children attending school, but free or reduced

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

14

lunches and Fabretto create an incentive for children living in impoverished areas to go to school
and receive and education.
Workforce
Some students choose to work instead of attending school, while some students are
forced to get a job in order to contribute to their family. Working, instead of getting an education,
coincides with a lack of motivation from students, which results in low attendance in schools. As
students become more independent they tend to think that getting a job will help them now, but
in the long run, a quality education is more valuable. In America, a secondary teacher
commented on the stress students are under from working long hours after school and keeping up
with homework, or when their work schedule conflicts with their school schedule (White, 2010).
In a country with such high poverty levels, it is common to see children in Nicaragua dropping
out of school and finding a place in the workforce. In 2005, according to the last Nicaraguan
child labor survey, almost 240,000 workers were between age five and 17 (Lakhani, 2015). The
laws in Nicaragua allow for 14 year olds to start working, except for in hazardous places such as
mines and sugar cane fields (Lakhani, 2015). Although this law allows children to help their
families by working, it also immediately decreases the amount of children who continue in
school. Only 72% of Nicaraguan children finished primary school in 2009. This low figure hides
even bigger inequalities as only 65% of children from the poorest 20% of families completed
primary school compared to 98% from the richest homes (Lakhani, 2015). Students living in
poverty in America and Nicaragua are choosing to enter the workforce instead of getting an
education because they do not see the importance and significance of attending school.
Emotional and Social Challenges

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

15

Emotional and social challenges are present in children who live in impoverished areas.
Both American and Nicaraguan children living in lower socioeconomic status communities are
exposed to these challenges. If a child is not exposed to emotional and social well-being, the path
of maturation is altered and the production of new brain cells, known as emotional dysfunction,
occur (Jensen, 2015). Students with emotional dysfunction negatively affect their own education
because they give up on tasks and get frustrated easily. Emotional outcomes of students living in
poverty are grouped into two divisions: external and internal behaviors. External behaviors
include fighting and aggression towards classmates or teachers. Internal behaviors include
depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997). Social challenges
include the inability to cooperate well in groups or as partners because the child was raised
poorly due to parents continuously working or not giving enough emotional or academic support.
Social challenges are visible in latchkey children because they are home alone without their
parents for a period of time and this can create behavioral issues (S. White, personal
communication, December 8, 2015). It is easy to see emotional and social challenges in school
because these children behave impatiently, inappropriately, and tend to act out, which results in a
distraction from school (Jensen, 2015).
Location
A hidden factor that many do not focus on is the location in which low-income families
live. According to a report published recently by the Southern Education Foundation, the impact
of poverty on education among schoolchildren living in the South is an urgent problem. In
America, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas contain the highest percentage of schoolchildren
from low-income households (Child Fund, 2015). Also, neighborhood conditions can effect
education because living in an unsafe area can demotivate students to leave their home and

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

16

attend school. Low income may lead to residence in extremely poor neighborhoods characterized
by social disorganization and few resources for child development (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn,
1997). In Nicaragua, most people live in rural regions where natural resources, such as water and
land, are limited. Recent droughts in Nicaragua have seriously affected food security and sources
of income (IFAD, 2009). The region of Nicaragua negatively affects the workforce, food
security, and transportation, which results in a low attendance in schools.
Solutions
In order to combat poverty and its effect on education, social programs and government
funding have been established. Social programs are used in America and Nicaragua in order to
eradicate problems such as hunger, employment, and education. Some major U.S. federal
programs target the reduction of poverty and income inequality (Coley & Baker, n.d.). Career
Advance, a program that collaborates with the Head Start Program, allows parents to improve
their education in order to rise out of poor communities (Sparks, 2014). When considering
motivation, Head Start is a federal program that serves preschool children within the United
States. It serves over 900,000 children and includes center-based preschools, child-care homes,
and in-home visits. This program creates an incentive for children to go to school because they
are provided with additional resources. Public housing and Medicaid is offered to families living
below the poverty line. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development give families
residences if they are considered very low income, which is 50% of the median income for the
country (Coley & Baker, n.d.). Also, when factoring in parental income, Medicaid is available to
families whose parents are unemployed or do not receive health insurance with their company. In
order to eradicate hunger within America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the
National School Lunch Program which assists children daily by providing breakfast and lunch to

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

17

children who live below the poverty level. In 2011, over 31 million children were served lowcost or free lunch daily throughout 100,000 public schools (Coley & Baker). For low-income
students who obtain jobs while going to school, the Earned Income Tax Credit allows them to
receive a refundable tax credit. Because the tax credit increases at lower levels of income,
working students and parents who live in impoverished areas are the most likely to go through
with their taxes. Although Nicaragua does not have as many beneficial programs for families
living in poverty, they have grown by collaborating with familiar organizations and establishing
similar programs to the United States. The International Development Association (IDA) is a
division of the World Bank that offers aid to impoverished countries by providing loans and
grants. In 1995, the IDA partnered with the Nicaraguan government through the First Basic
Education Program (Ambrecht, 2014). For almost 10 years, this program increased enrollment in
primary schools in Nicaragua. It was reported by the IDA that, The project contributed to an
increase in the enrollment coverage of pre-schools and primary schools, particularly in targeted
poor and indigenous communities. Because the quality of education in Nicaragua remained low,
Nicaragua increased government funding towards education and continued to work with the IDA
in hopes that education will be more affordable and an incentive to children. Although the
Nicaraguan government introduced social programs such as free meals, school supplies, and
transportation, the enrollment in schools only increased from 75% in 1998 to 80% in 2006
(Pulugurtha, 2009). Poverty remaining in America and Nicaragua is continuing to affect
education no matter the social programs that are available.
There has been an overall lack of government funding to the educational systems in
America and Nicaragua. In both countries, educational services such as teacher assistants, family
workers, and specialist teachers were cut from school budget due to the lack of funding

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

18

available. This makes it difficult to address learning gaps and provide strategies to overcome
such barriers (White, 2010). In America, the conservatives believe that tax dollars should be
given to low-income families to use as vouchers for private-school tuition since they believe that
private school is a better alternative to private schools (Layton, Jan. 16). The government in
Nicaragua has a very small budget towards education but continues to tell sources that they
would like to increase their education budget. It is not enough money to adequately provide
teacher salaries, student supplies, and school facilities (Ambrecht, 2014). Government funding
should be increased in both countries in order to provide an incentive for low-income students to
attend school.
Conclusion
Overall, poverty has continued to have a significant impact on education in America and
Nicaragua. Children who live in impoverished homes face risk factors such as lack of
motivation, parental income, hunger, working, emotional and social challenges, and location.
These problems are addressed by social programs and government funding but not enough to
eradicate certain factors. Although America and Nicaragua have very different economies and
governments, both education systems are similar in the fact that they are affected by families
living in poverty. The focus on increasing scores in low-income schools need to be addressed by
the government in order to eliminate risk factors for children.

References

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

19

Ambrecht, J. (2014, June 13). Education in Nicaragua-The Borgen Project. Retrieved November
17, 2015, from http://borgenproject.org/education-nicaragua/
Berstein, J. (2007, April 22). Is Education the Cure for Poverty? Retrieved November 16, 2015,
from http://prospect.org/article/education-cure-poverty
Child Fund International. (2015). News. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from
https://www.childfund.org/Poverty-and-Education-in-the-US/
Coley, R., & Baker, B. (n.d.). Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward. Poverty and
Education: Finding the Way Forward. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
https://www.ets.org/s/research/pdf/poverty_and_education_report.pdf
Crotty, J. (2013, March 13). Motivation Matters: 40% Of High School Students Chronically
Disengaged From School. Retrieved December 1, 2015, from
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2013/03/13/motivation-matters-40-ofhigh-school-students-chronically-disengaged-from-school/
Duncan, G., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1997). The Psychological Effects of Poverty on Children.
PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e527092015-001
Education and Socioeconomic Status. (2015). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from
http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/factsheet-education.aspx
Hewey, A., & Corrales, D. (2014, April 1). Nutrition and Education Combatting Poverty &
Hunger in Nicaragua. Retrieved December 3, 2015, from
http://alliancetoendhunger.org/fabretto-nutrition-and-education-combatting-povertyhunger-in-nicaragua/
Hutt, D. (2013, January 31). Is Nicaragua's education system failing? -. Retrieved November 17,
2015, from http://www.ticotimes.net/2013/02/01/is-nicaragua-s-education-system-failing

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

20

IFAD. (2009). Rural Poverty in Nicaragua. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from


http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/nicaragua
Jensen, E. (2015). Membership. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109074/chapters/How-Poverty-AffectsBehavior-and-Academic-Performance.aspx
Lakhani, N. (2015, May 19). Poverty in Nicaragua drives children out of school and into the
Workplace? Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/globaldevelopment/2015/may/19/poverty-nicaragua-children-school-education-child-labour
Layton, L. (January 16). Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty. Retrieved
December 1, 2015, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/majority-ofus-public-school-students-are-in-poverty/2015/01/15/df7171d0-9ce9-11e4-a7ee526210d665b4_story.html
Luhby, T. (2015, January 09). The growing poverty problem in America's schools. Retrieved
November 24, 2015, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/29/news/economy/povertyschools/
Pulugurtha, S. (2009, May 03). Increasing poverty in Nicaragua and its effect on education.
Retrieved November 19, 2015, from
http://empowermentinternational.org/2009/05/04/increasing-poverty-in-nicaragua-andits-effect-on-education/
Sosnowski, J. (2015). Statistics on How Poverty Affects Children in Schools. Retrieved
November 17, 2015, from http://education.seattlepi.com/statistics-poverty-affectschildren-schools-3636.html
Sparks, S. (2014, August 5). Multigenerational Programs Aim to Break Poverty Cycle. Retrieved

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

21

December 2, 2015, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/08/06/37wopgenerations.h33.html


Title I - What is Title I? (2015). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from
http://titleone.departments.pwcs.edu/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=134347
UC Davvis Center. (2014). UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Retrieved November 16,
2015, from http://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/how-does-level-education-relate-poverty
White, M. (2010, October). Poverty: How it affects students in the school community. Retrieved
December 3, 2015, from https://bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle.aspx?id=21683
World Bank. (2015). Nicaragua: Poverty Assessment. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,co
ntentMDK:20207612~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:4303
67,00.html

Appendix A: Interview Transcript

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

22

The author of this paper was able to go to College Park Elementary School to interview
Dr. Sterling White, the principal of the school.
1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your educational background?
I have been working in the education field for 21 years, this being my 22nd year. I have always
worked with lower-income or Title I schools. This is my first year being a principal in Virginia
Beach, I have always taught and been a principal in Norfolk. I grew up in Pennsylvania and got
my Bachelors in communications, Master in education, and received my Ph.D. at Nova
Southeastern University. I will tell you that from my experiences, 80% of students who live in
Norfolk receive free or reduced lunch.
2. How much, of the poverty you see,is situational (one time occurrence) or
generational (family history)?
From my experiences, most poverty is generational. Most families who live in poverty never
reach above the poverty line due to finances and other reasons. The children who were raised in
poverty are now living in poverty and having children, still living below the poverty level.
3. What resources do families living in poverty have available from the Virginia Beach
City Public School System?
Title I schools are given Title I funding. College Park Elementary is a Title I school wide
program which means the funds given to the school are used for all students. The Title I assisted
program is when the Title I funds are only allowed to be used for students who live below the
poverty line. This can mean that students who live in poverty are able to go on field trips, receive
math or reading specialists, etc.
4. Have you seen any direct links between students living in poverty and emotional or
social challenges? What kind of services do you have in place?

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS EDUCATION

23

I have never personally seen any direct links. It really depends on their type of upbringing.
There are latchkey kids who have behavioral issues from the parents never being home because
they are always working.
5. This is my last question. In 2011, nearly one-third of all children in the United States
lived in a household where no parent had full-time, year-round employment. Based
on your experience, have you found this to be true, why or why not?
Yes, because of the economy. When the economy went downhill, many parents lost their jobs.
Many people who werent living in poverty now are because of their unemployment. This has
increased tension between families because they werent originally in this position. Children
need the emotional and academic support from their parents now that they are in a different
living condition.