In the United States, many students are at a disadvantage to receive a great education. Poverty can handicap learners before they even attend their first day of school. It also causes students to fall behind in class and can lead to individuals dropping out of school altogether. The following are just two of the reasons poverty affects education.

Disadvantages Due to Parental Choices
The choices made by parents greatly affect their children and their educational futures. Exposing children to drug use before birth can lead to cognitive deficiencies and learning limitations. Studies have shown that not eating enough can hinder the brain’s capacity to retain information and poorer families are often unable to afford proper nutrition and often send their children to school without a proper breakfast or lunch.

Children who are exposed to violence or household related stress also face limitations in the classroom. They are often unable to cope with these situations and can become disruptive in class. Unfortunately, these types of situations happen more regularly with low-income families.

To combat these conditions, many cities offer free parenting workshops to help parents give their children a better start. Organizations offer classes in parenting, nutrition, and stress control to make sure poorer children are giving the chance to succeed in school.

Bad School Conditions
Schools that provide poor educational environments affect poorer students just as much as things that happen outside of the classroom. Most schools across the country are funded through property taxes and school districts with lower property values often have less tax money to use for improvements. Less money means a school lacks books and other resources and the school will often struggle to retain teachers.

Schools also often lack federal funding and districts and individual schools often have to form committees to prioritize their needs, develop action plans and create fundraisers to raise money for construction projects and other resources they may need.

To combat parental disadvantages and poor school conditions, a variety of charities and educational organizations are gathering resources to level the playing field for disadvantaged students and children. Education is what will shape a child’s economic and social future so equipping them with the right tools will allow them to have successful futures and break the cycle, so their children do not grow up with the same disadvantages.