60% of Ohio public school students living in poverty scored below proficient on required statewide tests, and the districts that have the lowest test scores have the highest percentages of poor students. That’s based on data from the Ohio Department of Education. State lawmakers are now studying the connection between education and poverty.
Last month, the House Speaker's Task Force on Education & Poverty heard about the data on the achievement gap between students at different income levels. This month, they heard that kids in poverty are more likely to have health problems like asthma and obesity, and less likely to be able to get health care. Amy Rush Stevens with the non-partisan Health Policy Institute of Ohio told the task force that some schools are now partnering with health care providers. “There’s really good research showing that school-based health centers can improve health outcomes for kids and can also help to improve educational outcomes.”
The panel will meet three more times before making recommendations on policy changes.