The percentage of public schools where more than three quarters of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—a key indicator of poverty—has increased in the past decade, and children at these schools are less likely to attend college or be taught by teachers with advanced degrees, reports the Associated Press. The findings come from a special report on high-poverty schools included in the 2010 Condition of Education study, which reports on a broad range of academic indicators across K-12 and higher education. The U.S. Department of Education report, released May 27, found that high-poverty schools rose from 12 to 17 percent between the 1999-2000 and 2007-08 school years, even before the current recession was fully felt. By comparison, the overall poverty rate for children increased from 17 to 18 percent, leading researchers to believe that a higher percentage of poor kids were signing up for the federal lunch program. In all, there were 16,122 schools considered high poverty. Daria Hall, director of K-12 policy development at the Education Trust, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based think tank, said students at high-poverty schools tend to start out behind their counterparts at low-poverty schools and get less support at school…

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