A new study shows that the majority of public school children in the United States are living in poverty.
The report, conducted by the Southern Education Foundation, drew its conclusions from data revealing how many public school children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
For the first time on record, 51 percent of students are living in poverty. There are an estimated 74 .5 million children in the US.
Study authors said they have noticed a continuing trend of increased poverty levels since 1989, when 32 percent of students qualified for these types of meals. By 2000, the number had risen to 38 percent. In 2013, it had gone up another 13 percent, according to information from the National Center for Education Statistics.
"No longer can we consider the problems and needs of low income students simply a matter of fairness," the Southern Education Foundation report says, quoting from a previous analysis. "Their success or failure in the public schools will determine the entire body of human capital and educational potential that the nation will possess in the future."