Opinions

Why Students from Low-Income Homes Are Cheated in Education

By: Olivia Abraham

“rossier.usc.edu”

Receiving a decent education is of the highest priority for countless individuals. While certain students go through lengths to learn to their fullest potential and attend a top university, several other students tend to be more laid-back about the whole idea and don’t go through as much effort. At the same time, these two categories of students may be learning the same amount of information, or attending the same colleges, due to their contrasting financial circumstances. The idea of how children from wealthy families receive numerous privileges in comparison to those in poverty is quite familiar to the general public. Still, the educational advantages that come with being financially stable are in need of being recognized.

The adverse effects of students having financial gaps could not be more evident than with remote learning. The University of Southern California surveyed families in Los Angeles to examine how districts turning to online instruction influenced low-income students. The survey reports, “Families have made great sacrifices to invest in digital infrastructure, with highest spending on fixed internet followed by laptops and computers. Digital readiness at home is key to supporting live instruction models, which in turn affect school work completion and student motivation” (USC). As can be seen, when students lack accessibility to home technology, students are likely to become disengaged. More often than not, a lack of accessibility to devices roots from a student’s family not having enough money to afford it. 

Education does not only apply to learning from elementary to high school. Attending college is an understated privilege given to those who are lucky enough to afford higher education. When one mentions they are not attending a university after high school, the person is frequently seen as lazy or not intelligent, and the thought of the person not having enough money is often out of mind. Not to mention, getting accepted into a university in the first place is a common struggle for those from low-income households. Revised college essays, SAT tutoring, and finer public school teachers are only a few of the innumerable advantages of being a financially secure student. 

While there is not precisely one solid solution towards making opportunities for students from homes of differing incomes equal in education, adjustments can be made. The previously referred USC report was produced with Hernan Galperin, an associate professor of communications at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Galperin remarks, “Our findings show that students without appropriate connectivity or devices for distance learning are less motivated and are able to complete fewer assignments than their peers. If schools are expected to contribute to social mobility and create lifelong opportunities for all children, there needs to be a concerted effort at the federal, state and local level to address these disparities.”

Sources:

https://www.theedadvocate.org/respect-for-teaching-why-is-education-so-low-on-the-priority-list/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Pew%20Research,a%20declining%20interest%20in%20education.

https://rossier.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/USC-Report-When-School-Comes-Home-Aguilar.pdf

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/10/1079406041/researcher-says-rethink-prek-preschool-prekindergarten

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