Schools have the potential to be the heart of a community. They can inspire their students and give them hope for the future. Unfortunately, they can also do the complete opposite. Policy makers and academics have turned their attention to the impact of inequality among our schools.

“The age of the school building, the condition and currency of the materials used, the access to technology…parents and students draw conclusions about how society values them from their school environment, and lack of investment in public education can have ripple effects beyond the campus. Conversely, when communities invest in future generations by supporting public education, this creates a greater sense of hope among students and has a corresponding positive influence on upward economic mobility among community residents.” -Melissa Pelletier

 

MDR recently published an article based on a study that shows how the investment made in public education or the lack thereof correlates to high school dropout rates and also to teen pregnancy rates. In her article, Pelletier mentions how far reaching the benefits of a school fully supporting their students’ learning can be. Students can be inspired to not only place a higher value on their education, but to also make better life decisions.

“Education is inspiring, and knowledge is empowering. When people feel hopeless, or that they shouldn’t bother trying, they make risky decisions because they may not envision a future that they want to work toward.” – Melissa Pelletier

 

The benefits can even reach far beyond the classroom and into the surrounding community. According to the study, the main benefit is actually upward economic mobility. Unfortunately, inequality has returned in historically high levels. Researchers found that urban upward mobility is impacted by the parents’ education. While at the same time, non-urban upward mobility impacts generational migration opportunities. All the students will benefit and feel valued if a school is able to:

  • pay its teachers a good salary
  • fund new technology
  • install new collaborative spaces that accommodate the different learning styles of students

To learn more or to read Pelletier’s article in full, click here.