CT child poverty is at an all-time high

childpovertyConnecticut Voices for Children said recently that the poverty rate for CT children is 15 percent, and the rate for children of color is five times that of Caucasian children.

From the organization, nearly half of Hartford’s children live in poverty, the highest rate for any town in the state. And here’s an interactive map so you can check your Connecticut town.

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28 responses to “CT child poverty is at an all-time high

  1. Got us beat. Our child poverty rate is 19%.

  2. That’s awful. How could we get Malloy to respond to this and to do something to change this? Capitalism sucks! From what I’ve seen, a lot of jobs that actually support people in need (non-profits) pay poverty wages, have high turnover, and get too little funding. The world sucks!

    • Up to a point, yes. It does suck. But I always think we can make it stop sucking, at least a little bit. Voices on their website has some ideas for how to alleviate some of this.

      • Up to a point? At what point does it stop sucking?

        • I’d tell you, but I’d be lying.

          • Capitalism demands poverty. It can be dealt with in a myriad of ways, but as long as there’s Capitalism, there’s going to be poverty.

            And if you look around…Connecticut? With all its troubles? Is still in much better shape than most other places in this country. You folks are just getting started.

      • Oh, no. According to the link, things will be even worse in 2016, thanks to Malloy. WTF? Has he no conscience?

        • I wouldn’t be too hard on Malloy. He didn’t create this problem. He’s doing what most governors are being forced to do. The people who own this country demand austerity to pay for their wars…and their insatiable appetites. They’re not going to pay for it. That’s not how the game is played.

  3. There’s a lot of pieces to this but the lack of regionalization, especially of school systems, reinforces the obvious de facto segregation based on race, ethnicity and economic status. The map might as well be one for troubled school systems, homelessness, unemployment, health status, etc. Every deep red town on that map has a deep blue neighbor. It’s not likely we will ever redistribute the wealth but we could do a better job sharing the responsibility of meeting the challenge.

    • It does. Regionalization might break down a few walls. I’m for it.

    • Could you &/or Paul explain your point about the effect of increased regionalization on schools? I’m not sure I understand. Thanks.

      • Resources live where resources are. So a high-resource town’s money stays in that town.

        • I see what you’re saying. I was thinking of regionalization as meaning to break into even smaller districts. One thing we don’t want to do is provide equal funding across the board. Some students need more than others, either because they have not had the same opportunities/exposure outside of school or they have disability affecting learning. A lot of the resources that give kids advantage, come from outside school funding. How can we best address that gap, do you think?

          • Change our entire economic system. And I’m not just talking about sharing school resources, and I’m not just talking about children. I’m sure Paul can weigh in here, too, and probably more knowledgeably, but here in CT, towns have dug moats around themselves, to their disadvantage. We could share more emergency services, say, and save a buttload every year.

            • Whatever it takes. Small steps are better than no steps. I am on the side that believes sharing public resources and funding is not enough. Some need more help due to what comes from economic inequality. I think focusing on kids is one way to affect the future. I don’t really know how to transform these wishes into results.

              • Oh, absolutely. It takes more than public resources, but the government is the largest entity we have access to (don’t think a lot of corporations are going to go against their bylaws and use their money for much more than profit to the shareholders) so we petition there, first. And sharing resources between towns and cities could help alleviate that inequality, with better schools.

                • Yes. Actually, I was thinking the public resources should be shared unequally, if favor of those who need it most. When you refer to “sharing resources between towns and cities” to help alleviate inequality, what resources do you mean?

              • Jac, my fumble fingers messed the chronology here a bit but I agree that just sharing resources isn’t enough. In my mind regionalizing or merging systems would mean sharing responsibility over directing those resources. Of course, that is a direct threat to way things are now. To use an insurance analogy, it’s like expanding the risk pool. The hard part would be for the expanded community to provide the leadership to take collective ownership and make wise decisions.

                Right now I don’t see this happening short of towns being forced by legislation. Maybe leaders in some of these deep red/deep blue clusters might step up on their own but there’s a lot of political peril in that.

  4. I think I just lost a post that wasn’t quite finished. If not, this may be redundant. Speaking of redundancies, what Susan said. With 169 towns pretty much doing their own thing there’s a lot of redundancy that creates an opportunity for savings and more important to this discussion, an opportunity to redirect resources.

    There’s a strong correlation between educational opportunity and poverty (I know, I’m telling you stuff you know already). The history and effects of white/affluent flight (it’s not completely about color) in the bigger cities is well documented but the same thing happens in smaller towns like Torrington, Killingly, Willimantic, Norwich, New London etc. I live in one of the poorest towns in the state with some of the lowest rated schools. Some the highest rated schools are a mile away across town lines. That town is populated by a number of businesspeople, professionals and an increasing number of working folks of adequate means to live there, a great many of whom make their living in my town (familiar story, right?). This escape from/trapped in dynamic is made even harder to break by colonial era geo/political boundaries. Those boundaries make it easier to say “not me” when confronted with concepts like privilege and discrimination. “I didn’t do anything, I just live here”. Bring up merging school systems, fire/police, other services however and out come the pitchforks. I hate to reinforce an argument made frequently by the right but a lot of these towns that are flight magnets are pretty liberal politically which, personally, adds to the frustration of confronting this issue. Sometimes I think the inevitable demographic change that is coming is our only hope.

    • I KNEW you’d say it better…

    • Reducing redundancy makes a lot of sense. I grew up in a county school system and I suspect it accomplished reduce costs. However, it didn’t change any existing economic/racial/ethnic segregation as schools were aligned with those who lived close by (e.g. still had High Schools for the towns).

      In some larger school districts here in CT, I hear some complain that kids get lost in the system, have fewer opportunities to participate on sports or academic teams due the increased competition, have less opportunity to obtain more individualized attention. Merging sounds like bigger and that may or may not be a good thing for students. If you have a little time to explain, I am interested in how merging school systems might help kids?

      I have not been in the schools recently, but they seemed to be way behind on use of technology & multimedia in every day learning when I was involved several years ago. One way to expose kids to things that may beyond their reach due to economic barriers is to utilize the internet and technology in ways that educate kids. Think virtual reality media, interactive learning. With things becoming more affordable (e.g. Google cardboard), these methods are not out of reach. There needs to be an emphasis to think out of the box and move into different ways of learning. Why simply read about Africa or Asia or Europe or South America, when kids can take virtual trips there and meet people, see the way of life, hear the sounds, see the culture? Why should an 8 year old be responsible for reading comprehension when reading a story about kids skiing when they have never seen skis or skiing? Why learn geometry on 2D paper, when a kid could be in a 3D world, exploring and calculating along the way. It seems things like this could not only get kids more excited and engaged in learning, but could bring about more of a leveling effect among kids who come from limited economic means and kids who have economic advantages (& have traveled, gone to enrichment summer camps, have had more experiences). That’s kind of where my head is at on education. Again, maybe they are doing more in this area now, but I doubt it.

  5. This is over a decade old, but I imagine the findings persist today. It addresses the achievement gap, which is tightly linked to poverty & income gap. I found it interesting, and complicated in how many things loop around to create a seemingly endless cycle of poverty and achievement gap. I suppose it misses some things, but it was helpful to me. There must be a way to overcome the barriers to reduce the achievement gap. I do believe the reduction of the achievement gap is a critical piece to the reduction of the income gap.
    http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov04/vol62/num03/Why-Does-the-Gap-Persist%C2%A2.aspx

  6. I’ll leave these links here, too, in case anyone is interested in reading about CA Summit Public School’s success (partnered with Facebook) and Google’s free VR field trip offerings for schools. I believe Summit will share their process & software with other school districts free of charge.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2016-01-19/californias-summit-public-schools-are-the-schools-of-the-future

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/28/9409571/google-expeditions-virtual-reality-field-trips

    https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/

    If the Hartford Schools are not yet taking advantage of these things, they should look into them. Also, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all partnering with schools to produce better results in underperforming school districts. Maybe Hartford could be next.

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