Blog Post

Education and Inequality Between Rich and Poor

Why is it that the government doesn’t provide public schools with enough federal funds, but private schools receive a lot of funds? Why is it that students with higher income succeed more than those with low income? This is a problem that society must fix; we are supposed to be an equal education system. It is Hispanic and black students who aren’t performing at the level of white and Asian students. Certain races or groups shouldn’t be the only ones successful in school.

            According to the interview with Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane, Rohan Mascarenhas stated that, one of the reasons why children achieve good grades in school is because they are in after-school programs. Parents with higher income sign their kids up for the after school. They do this so that their child can learn more throughout the day not just in school. After-school programs also help children one on one, who are struggling in school. The rich take advantage of these after school programs. The students with low-income struggle with their reading and writing, they can’t afford to go to after-school programs. This is why they continue to struggle and don’t receive the proper help that they need.

When I was in elementary school I attended after-school, which helped me because it kept me in honors class. I was able to get the extra help I needed during this time and improved my academic performance. Its important to attended after-school because it focuses on academic activities. Parents with higher income pay for tutors to come over and teach their child. While low income parents don’t reach out to any tutors. If students with lower income could receive some money from the government to help them pay for after schools and tutors, it would help them to perform better and succeed in school as well. The government can help if they make after school programs free for any student. The more students to join after- schools, the better results they will have in test scores in school.

Would you send your child to a Public or a Private school? Which would your income lead you to? Most high-income parents put their child in private schools; its class size is smaller than public schools. Public school classes ranges from 25 to 30 students. That’s too many students for one teacher to handle. One of the benefits of private school is that class size is from 15 to 20 students. This allows students to receive more attention in class, and receive more work as well. The level of teaching is different between the two. Private school teachers often have their graduate degree or their doctrine degree, while public school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree with a master in their subject. The level of education however, is more difficult for private than for public school. Parents with low income tend to put their child in public schools because it’s free. Help from the government is what makes public schools run well and not shut down. Private schools charge tuition for each student, so this helps them raise enough money and not rely so much for government funds.

            There is a gap in achievement between low-income students and high-income students. Students who come from affluent families perform higher in school compared to lower income families. About 82 percent of high school graduates who come from high-income families attend colleges, in comparison to 52 percent of graduates from low-income families.  A study shown by Martha Bailey and Susan Dyhorski showed that over the last 20 years the percent of children from higher income who completed college increased by 21 percent, while low income increased by only 4 percent. This is not a significant change for low-income students, showing that this is a cycle.

             Study show that this cycle continues and stays with the student into college. The rate of White graduates who were college ready in English was 77 percent, whereas African American was half of that, they were 35 percent ready. This is because students who come from families with low-income are attending high schools with teachers who are inexperienced and that do not offer the courses needed to prep them for college. These schools lack the resources they need to ensure their students are ready for higher education. The percent of 18-24 year olds enrolled in college is 58 percent, while Hispanic is less than half of that at 19 percent and black at 14 percent.

The income gap has not narrowed over time. Changes within the government and education system need to be made to close this gap in schools. It is essential to increase academic achievement. All students should be held to the same high expectations and all be given the same resources and tools to help them through K-12 grade. This will prepare them for their college and future careers.


                                    Education and Inequality Between Rich and Poor


Work cited

Sadovnik, Alan R., and Susan F. Semel. "Education and Inequality: Historical and                     Sociological Approaches to Schooling and Social Stratification." Paedagogica Historica 46       (2010): 1-13. Web.

Tavernise, Sabrina. "Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, StudiesSay." The                                       New York Times, 9 Feb. 2012. Web

What Will Decrease Educational Inequality?" What Will Decrease Educational                                                              Inequality? 1  Jan. 2001. Web






1 comment

This is definitely an issue I struggle to explain to people. As a first-generation, low-income college student who currently attends a private college, I'm constantly aware of the fact that a large majority of the students here don't consider the implications of being poor while trying to get any education, be it grade school or higher education. It's not necessarily that they don't care - I think it's difficult for people to view income and poverty as a factor that enormously affects a person's education in the form of their perceived "intelligence."