York Prep Considers Role that Poverty Plays in Educational Opportunity

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New reports indicate that the wealth of a student dramatically impacts their academic success, as schools in impoverished areas fail to meet national standards. As a leader in college preparation, York Prep responds to this epidemic with possible solutions.

While it has largely been accepted by society that the wealth of an individual determines their level of education, new statistics highlight the need for improvement among America’s public schools. A recent Huffington Post article reveals “Poverty among children in America is shamefully high. According to a UNICEF report, U.S. child poverty rate is 23.1 percent—higher than any other economically advanced nation except Romania.” This rate of poverty is directly connected to a decline in the national standard of education. Realizing this truth, York Prep encourages all disadvantaged students to continue to strive for higher education, but also recognizes that many school districts need to address this growing problem.

According to the article, “Nearly 60,000, or three-quarters of the nation's schools reported not being in good condition as they needed ‘repairs, renovations, or modernization. Not surprisingly, most schools in bad condition are in cities where at least 70 percent of students are below the poverty line’.” The article reveals that this pattern continues to grow as school budgets are connected to property taxes; this means that those in affluent neighborhoods receive greater funding. York Prep realizes that these obstacles are often insurmountable for disadvantaged students. York Prep Headmaster Ronald Stewart has witnessed this pattern in college preparation trends, including SAT results. He states, “Generally, the higher the parental income, the higher the child's SAT scores.”

While the article acknowledges that governments need to supply schools with adequate budgets and stronger initiatives should be placed to suppress rising drop-out rates, it also notes that correcting the problem of poor education is one that requires massive effort. In agreement, Stewart suggests, “To break that cycle requires a colossal effort. It requires summer programs, a time when disadvantaged children fall behind their more affluent peers. It requires more even funding of schools based on state-wide norms, rather than based on the wealth of the local school district. And it requires a real commitment by political powers, acknowledging that education is a universal right for all students. There has to be a plan to change the generational repetition of poor academics.”

Having helped many students achieve their goals, York Prep notes that while there may be many obstacles that prevent an individual from learning, it is important to keep education in focus. Stewart concludes, “The unfortunate truth is that poverty is usually, but not always, an indicator of educational deficits. That is why we should laud those students who are able to break this cycle and achieve from disadvantaged backgrounds.”


York Prep is a private school that was opened by Ronald and Jayme Stewart, who are currently the Headmaster and College Counselor of the school, respectively. With 350 enrolled students, York Prep offers a wide range of courses and schedules curriculum according to the strengths of individual students, thus creating a unique learning environment. With students in grades six through 12, York Prep is dedicated to assisting families in preparing for college while helping students build their academic skills.

To learn more about York Prep, visit yorkprep.org.

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Margery Blankenbaker
PR Management Inc.
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