Alabama Students in Poverty Increased

This year the Alabama Department of Education has recorded that 51.6-percent of all Alabama students, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, are living at or below poverty level.

That number is up one percent from last year.

The majority of students in Alabama public schools qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals and that's just one of the definitions schools and after-school programs use to define poverty.

Wiregrass Boys & Girls Club, Lance Wave said "We're seeing more and more of that. The percentages are increasing. This year alone, we saw a 20% increase in families needing scholarships for our program."

Officials believe there are a variety of contributing factors, ranging from the economy and politics to security issues and of course the hottest new topic.

America's population is expected to hit the 300 million mark this fall. A majority of the people fueling the population growth are lower-income families coming from other countries.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latino population is the drive behind this boom. Since 1-fourth of Alabama’s population are children, school programs are the first to notice these changes.

One thing that could help is an increase of state money toward the student education population.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alabama consistently ranks among the bottom ten states in the country for the number of children born into low-income families.

Studies show that a child born into a below-poverty-level family has 50-percent less chance of completing a four-year college degree.