by Raymond J. Ankrum, Sr.

A person in a one family household is considered to be impoverished according to the federal government if the individual makes less than 11,800 dollars a year in 2015 (after taxes to be on the safe side). A family of 4 has to make less than 24,250 in 2015 to be considered impoverished.

Okay, lets do a statistical breakdown of what 11,800 dollars means in the United States. It’s safe to assume one works 40 hours a week. There are 52 weeks in a year. The working year equates to 2,080 hours a year. To come up with the rate that one earns, we’ll simply divide the total earnings by the hours one works in a year. After taxes of course, its safe to assume that a person’s take home pay is 5.70 an hour.

As I sit and wreck my brain about the struggles that I had growing up, I can relate to living below the poverty index. To put it in context in 2015, it’s 4.00 for a gallon of milk, it’s between 2-4 dollars for a gallon of gas, fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive, and we have not even factored in a place to live, a car to get back and forth to work, insurance on the car, clothing, etc. I hope you can see where this is going…

Notice what I didn’t do in this particular piece:

If you were raised in poverty, or you are currently being raised in poverty, the last thing that you’re thinking about is school choice. Why? There’s so much pressure to provide for the family, ensure that everyone has, most people sacrifice their health and well-being to ensure that their kids have better than what they had. I’m not putting a color on this. Feel free to paint this picture however you’d like. Infer the best you can, I’m only framing the debate, and it’s on you to decide which side of the argument you are on.

Charter Schools and School Choice:

Teaching is a pretty lucrative job. I don’t know any teachers that make under 24k a year. So why wouldn’t a system be maintained to keep the underclass the underclass? Not sure if I am in a position to answer that question, but you are.

Go on, what say you? Sound suspicious? It should. Now do something about it.

Notice when there’s mention of healthy competition, folks from the pro-establishment (traditional brick and mortar schools) start to get up in arms.

When Charter Schools offer a better opportunity for students to succeed, the charter schools become an assault to the middle class, and a disruption to the way that things have been done. Therefore making them threats that have to be eliminated at all costs. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process (mainly kids), any threat to the establishment must be contained, or the empire is doomed.

That said. If you have people in your lives that fall below the poverty threshold, it becomes your civic responsibility to inform these families of their options. We can’t be scared to buck a system that constantly forces us to claw our way out to survive. School choice is not the only answer, but it’s a start!


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