Effects Of Poverty And Homelessness On Education

Submitted By mfulks
Words: 1622
Pages: 7

Paper 2

Effects of Poverty and Homelessness on Education We live in one of the richest countries in the world; the United States of America. Despite that we are one of the richest countries; we have students that face poverty and homelessness in their everyday lives. Students who face poverty may be in any grade level, including college. Students also face the fact that in some schools, they are not provided with the correct education that is needed to continue onto college. Students also deal with unhealthy and unacceptable conditions in public schools due to underfunding. The poverty, homelessness, and unacceptable conditions faced by American students truly affect their lives, education, and also the lives they want to live in the future with their careers. The children that attend public schools come from a large variety of backgrounds. Some families can afford to send their children to decent public schools while others cannot even afford a payment for a two bedroom apartment and have no other choice than to be homeless. Financial difficulties play a huge role in the grade of education that homeless and poverty stricken students obtain. Most families that cannot afford to send their children to decent schools must send their children to the neighborhood public school no matter the quality of the school. One struggle that affects homeless students that may live in homeless shelters is their use of transportation to get to school. For some people they have to deal with long train rides and also bus rides that may take hours to get to school. For example a twenty year old college student named Aesha states that being homeless had made it harder to keep up with her school work. She lives in New York which is one of the most expensive states to live in. She states “I spend almost eight hours a day on trains….I have to leave the shelter at 5:00am for the Bronx where my girlfriend watches my son for me. I get to her house around 7:00. Then I have to travel to school in Brooklyn – the last stop on the train followed by a bus ride – another two hours away.”(Bader 635). It would seem that it would be a great deal of work to do that on a daily basis. It is truly a hardship that is placed of Aesha’s shoulders. She wants to be able to provide for her son and also herself. Difficulties such as the ones that Aesha deals with could ultimately discourage some poverty stricken and homeless people to work their way through college. It is extremely hard work but people like Aesha have no other choice than to deal with the hardships is she wants a better future for herself and her son. The quality of education that homeless and poverty stricken students receive greatly affects them. “There seems to be a general conviction throughout the United States that public schools are substantially inferior in quality.” (Mitchell 101). In some school such as Fremont High School in Los Angeles, students are forced to take certain classes that should not even be a requirement for their diplomas and graduation. “Mireya, for example, who had plans to go to college, told me that she had to take a sewing class last year and now was told she’d been assigned to take a class in hairdressing as well. When I asked the teacher why Mireya could not skip these subjects and enroll in classes that would help her to pursue her college aspirations, she replied, “It isn’t a question of what the students want. It’s what the school may have available.””(Kozol 644). Students like Mireya are forced to take classes such has hairstyling and sewing because certain schools do not even offer courses that will benefit them in their futures in college. Fremont High School does have some advanced placement classes but they are normally always full. A teacher states that “If all the other elective classes that a student wants to take are full, she has to take one of these classes if she wants to graduate.” (Kozol 644). It is not fair to students that they cannot take