10 challenges poor students and teachers face


6. Students can get a late start to early childhood education

Sometimes, kids from poorer families can miss out on some of the basic development in their very early years that helps to set them on the path to success when they actually start school. As a 2015 U.S. Department of Education study found, only 41 percent of low-income students were enrolled in preschool, as opposed to 61 percent of affluent students. Further, even if they did attend some kind of preschool, African-American children and low-income children were the most likely groups to attend what the Department of Education termed as “low-quality” preschool programs.

So what does this mean for those kids’ educational attainment? According to a 2014 study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, children from low-income families might not experience having a parent read to them at bedtime. And, as the nonprofit Reading Partners points out, without access to early childhood literacy, kids might not get the chance to sound out letters for themselves—a foundational building block for language mastery.

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