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Ear to the Ground

Childhood Poverty Soars in Oakland

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Posted on Nov 30, 2011
HowardLake (CC-BY)

Childhood suffering is on the rise in Oakland, where the U.S. Census Bureau found nearly three in 10 children living in poverty, more than double the number recorded three years ago. The city has the highest rate of child destitution in the Bay Area.

The national poverty level sits at $22,113 for a family of four with at least two people under age 18. Raising a family on such an income is unthinkable, analysts say.

The problems associated with poverty are likely to follow these youngsters throughout some if not the whole of their lives: hunger, chronic anxiety, poor grades, depression, abuse, unemployment, trouble with the law and a sense of having been abandoned as their middle-class peers flee the city for better schools and safer neighborhoods elsewhere. —ARK

The Bay Citizen:

The number of school-aged children living in Oakland declined significantly over the past decade, the census shows—from approximately 80,000 a decade ago to fewer than 60,000 in 2010, with 46,000 attending Oakland’s public schools.

“A lot of people in my classroom are moving away to Concord,” said Kay Swenson, who teaches kindergarten at Sankofa Academy near Bushrod Park in North Oakland.

What’s left are families that are too poor to move, she said, while the young, mostly-white professionals who are moving in to the neighborhood do not have children, or do not send their children to Oakland’s public schools.

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By Rodney, December 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Republicans will end child poverty if they steal the
election. Fire all of the janitors and put the kids to
work.

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By KP, November 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is your solution? In explaining, do your best to avoid talking points of the right or left. Share your views on how to solve these issues within curren t constraints. I hope you prove me wrong; but I am guessing you have no pragmatic solution. If you did you might be elected President. You are as politcally crippled as the rest of us.

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By gerard, November 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

But, within just a few freeway miles of Oakland lies Palo Alto, where it would seem that money flows through the streets like water, and $40,000 a month is peanuts!
  How many times do we have to read these stories (many of them thoroughly verified by research done at Stanford—for all the good it does!) before we get together and solve such economic disparities?
  The problems we have, we made.  They were not dictated by God or Satan, and they are not accidental or inevitable.  Spraying all the people who try to help, clubbing them and putting them in jail is stupid and counterproductive.

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