Poverty, Recession and Education

The current economic recession has affected many areas of our lives. Challenges in the economy have resulted in loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of programs and loss of funding for many important programs. Budget cuts, cutbacks and spending restrictions not only affect households, livelihoods and economic status, but more so, they greatly impact educational opportunities for North Carolina youth.

Decreased participation in programs like More at Four and Smart Start results in a decline in the quality of educational levels, poor testing scores, and weaker child development. A strong early education is the foundation for building a strong pattern for continued education.

According to the Action for Children North Carolina, the state’s investments in public education fell 8.2 percent in real terms between 2007 and 2010, without accounting for inflation. Factoring in inflationary and other influencers, such as state population increases, K-12 education lost another six percent from 2010 to 2011.

According to the report, the overall impact of these cuts to K-12 education will be seen in larger class sizes, less investment in teacher training, loss of teachers, assistants and other school staff, and less investment in technology and classroom supplies. Research suggests that reductions in these educational inputs will be reflected in declining student achievement going forward.

With declining student achievement, it will be difficult for North Carolina children to enter the market for higher paying jobs, professional careers and entrepreneurial opportunities. Many will find themselves facing low-income status or extreme poverty.

How can you help? Make yourself available to tutor in your area of expertise. To learn more about how you can help and TAKE ACTION, visit www.nccaa.net.


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