Saturday, August 09, 2014

response to “Poor kids left behind as D.C. grows richer”

by Edd Doerr (

Wash Post writer Petula Dvorak’s Aug 8 article “Poor kids left behind as D.C. grows richer” called attention to increasing poverty in the nation’s capital. Here is the response I posted in the paper on line.  

Thank you, Petula Dvorak, for reminding us of the growing gap between the poor and the more well off. But this applies not just to DC but to the whole US, where about 25% of our kids live below the poverty line, compared to western Europe, where that figure is under 10%. But the situation is even worse than this bare statistic shows us. More than 60% of US kids live in families whose highest level of education is a high school diploma, per a new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Even among parents with some college, 18% live in poverty and 43% have low incomes, according to the Foundation for Child Development and the Center for Law and Social Policy. Kids whose parents have at least bachelor's degrees are 14% more likely to read proficiently and 19% better at math than kids with parents with only some college.

These figures also show that the poor have more kids than the more well off, and this will only get worse in the wake of the Supreme Court's terribly wrong June 30 Hobby Lobby ruling and the nationwide Republican drive to deny women, especially poor women, access to family planning aid. Add to that the conservative drive to undermine our public schools and divert public funds to special interest private schools and to charter schools that tend to be selective and to not be adequately responsible to elected school boards.

With elections coming up in November, voters who want a fairer, more equitable America should carefully consider the above.

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