Illinois has hit a milestone it was not trying for.
Low-income children now outnumber middle-class students in Illinois public schools. More than a million kids qualified for free or reduced price lunch last year.
"Students are coming with more needs to schools and this is at a time when of course we’ve been having all the financial stresses in funding education."
--- State schools superintendent Christopher Koch
In 2000, 37 percent of kids were considered low-income. Now, 52 percent are. Experts call the trend worrisome. Poor students score lower than their higher income peers. Daria Hall is with the national Education Trust.
"Illinois is gonna have to take a very serious look at what kind of supports and opportunities it’s giving to low-income students. These students are no longer the minority. They ARE our public school population."
--- Daria Hall, National Education Trust
Also, for the first time, White students account for less than half of the kids in Illinois public schools.