Study Says One In Four West Virginia Students Lives In Poverty

WCHS-TV - A new study shows more students are living in poverty now compared to students almost a decade ago. Read/Watch

The nonprofit EdBuild analyzed U.S. Census estimates to determine an increase of student poverty from 2006 to 2013.

Over those years, the percentage jumped from 31 percent of students living in poverty to 49 percent in 2013, the nonprofit EdBuild discovered.

One in four kids in the Mountain State is touched by poverty. The federal guideline defines poverty for a family of four as $24,250.

"Poverty to us in our school system are students who go without the necessary equipment, supplies, food, shelter, clothing," said Eddie Ivy, the lead attendance director at Kanawha County Schools.

Ivy said breaking the cycle of poverty starts with finding out what is causing students to not be in school.

"Our No. 1 priority and focus is to make sure students are attending school every day," Ivy said. "That's our No. 1 because with that education that helps to get them out of that area being in poverty."

Ted Boettner is the executive director of the West Virginia Center of Policy and Budget. His staff uses research and data to find solutions for working families.

"Half the children in West Virginia live in a family -- about 48 percent -- that have trouble meeting basic necessities," Boettner said. "A typical worker in West Virginia earned more money per hour in 1980 than they did today."


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