By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jill Barshay in a Hechinger Report blog, discusses the concentration of high poverty in America.

Latest data show that one out of five public schools wins this “unwelcome designation” in which 75% or more of elementary, middle and high school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Ten years earlier one in eight schools were deemed high poverty. Now there’s a 60% increase.

Controversy on how schools are qualified has been going on for years. It’s an imperfect measure. For instance, a mother with two children who makes under $35,000 a year in New York would be very poor; but she may not be destitute in Utah where the cost of living is lower.

There is also concern about the many poor families who don’t sign up because of the stigma – that poverty rates may be much higher than official estimates.

People raising kids in poverty need new policy and resources.

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