Poverty poses challenges for educators

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Greg Peck
May 3, 2013

The Gazette has reported on school poverty repeatedly, but Frank Schultz’s comprehensive look, complete with graphics, in last Sunday’s Gazette likely surprised some readers.

It’s easy to look at test scores at elementary schools such as Wilson and Jackson and suggest the district is failing those children. Half of Janesville students, however, live in homes with low income that qualifies them for free or reduced-price lunches.

At Wilson, 88 percent of students come from low-income homes, compared to 47 percent less than two decades ago. At Jackson, 79 percent live in poverty. Poverty is also high at Madison and Lincoln, at 64 and 60 percent, respectively.

What are the root causes of these growing poverty levels, why is poverty a challenge when trying to educate children, and what can all of us do to help?

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Sunday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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