April 29, 2007

Booklet tells why we must end the gap

Source: RA 2007

A new booklet highlighting NYSUT's social justice mission to end the achievement gap was unveiled at the RA. The full-color, eight-page booklet will be distributed to parents, elected officials, community groups and business leaders to build support for broad-based action.

The booklet cites research that shows achievement for at-risk students is jeopardized by complex social issues such as poverty, inadequate health care, substandard housing, insufficient early childhood education and lack of education resources. "NYSUT is seeking to build broad-based community support for ending the gap," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira, who initiated development of the booklet.

The booklet notes there are 900,000 children under the age of 17 living in poverty in New York, and children in New York City are nearly twice as likely as adults to live in poverty.

Here are some other key statistics:

  • The number of uninsured children in New York state increased from 354,000 in 2004 to 415,000 in 2005.

  • Fewer than half of New York's 4-year-olds were served by pre-K programs in 2004.

  • Child care subsidies serve only 44 percent of children estimated to be eligible.

  • The hourly wage a family needs for rent and utilities in the private housing market in New York is $20.70, making the state the fifth- most-expensive in the nation.

  • New York ranks first in the nation in the gap between per-student spending in high-povety vs. low-poverty school districts.

See the booklet at http://www.nysut.org/.