Education – The Ladder Out Of Poverty

Posted at 2:50 pm on 03/26/2014

A report released by the Associated Press, July 23, 2012 shows that poverty may be the worst it has been since 1965. The premise of this article is to suggest strategies to attack poverty with education as the focus.

First, there appears to be a disconnect with a significant number of our youth concerning their future and the value an education has in their quality of life. They must be redirected from dropping out of high school. And if they drop out, enroll in a program to receive a diploma and at a minimum, vocational skills training.

Although, a degree or certificate is the goal, in the process of that attainment, a set of positive values are being established. In addition, a belief in one’s ability to succeed based on past successes. This is a process that has moved many off the welfare rolls and on to the tax rolls.

The basic idea behind raising the quality and amount of education and training received by people on the bottom, they will be able to earn more, and thus the inequality of income will be reduced.

Provide training and education to the people who need it the most at the site where the people live and work. Example: public housing is a site where programs and services should be taken to people who have been identified as low income.

Involvement of the churches in poverty and economy. In Meltzer’s book, “Poverty in America,” he gives descriptions of the efforts of churches to attack unemployment and poverty. Such as, urging corporations to invest in communities with mass unemployment, rather than to invest in funds overseas. Also, writing to and appearing before Congress urging Congress to commit itself to end poverty. Meltzer cites the pastoral letter drafted by a committee of American Roman Catholic Bishops which examines the question—What Can Be Done About Poverty?” Two of the recommendations to alleviate poverty dealt with education.

There should be aggressive new efforts to provide a quality education for the poor and to encourage higher levels of educational attainment. Example: scholarships for adult learners to further their education.

In the words of the Business Higher Education Forum Report, “We must pour every effort we can into the one strategy that, time and time again, has proven that it works to change lives__education.”

We are all aware that a decent education is an essential ingredient for economic success. If one does not have the skills and education to become gainfully employed, he or she is destined for poverty. Thus, the link between formal education and financial well-being.

Education – the ladder out of poverty!

-Barbara J. Brooks, M.S.W., Ph.D

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