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Friday, April 24, 2015

And the Worst City For Poor Black Children Is...

Low income students

A recent editorial published in the Times Union Plus newspaper revealed what was called a "disgraceful" reflection on the city of Albany, New York, as being the worst city for poor black children. Out of the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., Albany ranked at the very end.

What this means for low-income black children

The assessment was performed by researchers at Brandeis and Ohio State universities. Their research involved creating a Child Opportunity Index that included factors such as health, education and socioeconomic opportunities. The results found that Albany's South End and Arbor Hill sections, Hamilton Hill in Schenectady and an area in and around downtown Troy had the poorest neighborhoods. In fact, 60.3 percent of black children in these areas are living in "low-opportunity neighborhoods."

Schools are failing

The schools in the Albany area are among those identified earlier this year across the state by Governor Andrew Cuomo as failing. School superintendents and others across New York are pleading with the Governor for funding in order to help low-income students. Their plan to use the funding includes offering family health services, lengthening the school day, and creating other programs to keep low-income students in school.

So what's the solution?

Legislation has been proposed to pass a Community Schools Act which would fund the program. A similar program was implemented in Massachusetts and met with success. As the editorial summed up the situation, "Reversing the cycle of poverty is not cheap. But not turning around failed schools, and wasting children's potential, will cost far more in the long run."

For more details about the Albany School District, visit www.albanyschools.org
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