A survey that was recently taken in Georgia showed that poverty is linked to poor school performance. Will Scofield is the Superintendent of Hall County Schools. He stated that poverty is the biggest factors that affects school performance. He said that 99 percent of schools that have high poverty rates are rated with a D or F.
Schools are given a grade based on their graduation rates and performance on state tests. Only 5 percent of schools with low poverty rates receive a D or F. Will stated that it is even more difficult for schools to overcome the challenges of poverty when 50 percent of the students come from a low-income household. Fourteen percent of people in Hall County live below the poverty line. Thirty percent of people who live within the Gainesville city limits live in poverty.
Sarah Bell is the chief academic officer of Gainesville City Schools. She stated that the impacts of poverty can make it difficult for people to learn. Students who live in poverty may not have access to books. They may also have mental health issues due to the stress of living in poverty. That is why is important to find creative ways to help students.
There are several things that districts can do to help families who are living in poverty. This includes things such as expanding support for families, making sure that people have access to safe, affordable housing and health services. Sarah Bell stated that the schools connect people with social workers who help them get the care that they need.
There is also a large percentage of first-generation immigrants who live in Hall County. Will stated that the experiences that people have from birth until the age of 5 can have a profound effect on their lives. However, there are many other factors that can affect student achievement including English language proficiency.