A recent report by Educational Testing Service found poor children completed two fewer years of school, earned less than half as much money, worked 451 fewer hours per year, received $826 per year more in food stamps and were nearly three times as likely to have poor health compared to children whose families had incomes of at least twice the poverty level during their early childhood. Poor males were twice as likely to get arrested and poor females were five times more likely to have a child out of wedlock. Among the world’s 35 richest countries, the United States ranks second highest in the rate of child poverty. The achievement gap between students who are poor and those who are not is twice as large as the achievement gap between black and white students. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) the cognitive performance of toddlers, elementary and middle school students, and college-bound seniors varied dramatically by income and poverty status. These differences likely contribute to accessibility to and success in college, limiting economic and social mobility and fueling the gap between rich and poor.
The Child Poverty subcommittee will provide policy recommendations specific to the issue of childhood poverty to CSG’s National Workforce Development and Education Task Force. These recommendations will help to inform and educate state policymakers on how child poverty affects state pathways to prosperity, raise awareness about the implications of child poverty for their state and promote collaboration among all stakeholders.