Mon December 8, 2003
Black Belt Schools Among Alabama's Poorest
By Alabama Public Radio
Tuscaloosa, AL – New numbers from the US Census show that 35-percent of students in the Perry County school system live below the poverty level.
That's the highest percentage of children living below the poverty level among Alabama's public school districts. A family of four is considered below the poverty level with an income less than 17-thousand-960 dollars a year.
That poverty makes it hard for Perry County governments to generate tax revenue to support the school system, leaving them to rely heavily upon state money to fix problems.
Most of the school systems at the top of the child poverty list were in rural mostly black counties, including Perry, Wilcox, Sumter, Greene and Macon. Three municipal systems ... Geneva, Elba and Gadsden ..., also ranked in the Top 10 systems with children living in poverty.
School systems that ranked at the bottom of the list included mostly white systems in the Birmingham suburbs of Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Hoover and Homewood.