At low poverty levels, unions are at least neutral and may even be beneficial to a small degree. On the other hand, at high poverty levels, unions are detrimental to student achievement. I suspect that the higher the poverty, the less the parents tend to interact with the educational system, or at least they have much less influence on the way it is run. They also can't vote with their feet. Here in the greater DC area, Fairfax county has great public schools, but because of that (in part), housing prices are higher. People who can, move to Fairfax county because it is way cheaper than a private school in DC. Plus when you sell your house you get your money back. Not true for a private school. I was a strong supporter of Head start, which is directed at higher poverty areas. I believe that those most in need deserve good help to get and equal start. I hoped that headstart would make a difference in their lives and that it was a good use of tax payer money. I was sad to find that a government study showed it really had no benefit. I think the results were that after a year in public school, kids from headstart were no better off or more advanced than their classmates that did not have headstart. Too bad.P.
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