Local News

Study: Children From Lower-Income Families Are At Disadvantage

Posted April 24, 2001

— Starting kindergarten can be fun and exciting, but some North Carolina five- and six-year-olds may not be ready. A new study shows lower-income school children are at a big disadvantage.

In language skills, 38 percent of children from lower-income families had very low scores versus 6 percent from higher-income families.

In math, 37 percent of children from lower-income families had very low scores compared to 9 percent in higher-income brackets.

"This study found that children from lower-income families entered school with significantly lower skills in all five major areas of development and learning compared to children in higher-income families," says Dr. Kelly Maxwell, who authored the study.

The study sampled more than 1,000 kindergarten students across the state. Maxwell says it is now up to policymakers to decide what specifically needs to be done to help lower-income children catch up.

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