Elementary and high school education is mandated for all children in the United States and for good reason. There is very strong evidence that access to education helps to improve equality and reduce poverty in populations across the globe. While many people may realize the importance of higher education in rising incomes, the value of education for children is equally if not more important.

Education Creates a Foundation

A person’s college degree or certification may determine what jobs they can get and how much they can potentially earn, but getting that degree begins long before a young adult starts attending college classes. Learning in childhood is vital to a person’s later academic success. This is especially true in early childhood. Children will do better if they reach critical developmental milestones during their formative years. Young children are especially sensitive to certain types of learning, especially language development. When they have access to a rich learning environment at a young age, their natural curiosity and capacity to absorb and understand information is maximized.

Education can be seen as a pyramid or tower structure. A child who doesn’t receive a good foundation cannot progress to the top. A child who lacks learning opportunities and a rich learning environment in childhood may never graduate from high school, let alone college. Their opportunities and income potential will be severely limited.

Early Education Fosters Lifelong Learning

Many parents focus on the later years of education as being important. They may stress their child’s grades in high school or college, paying less attention to academic success in the early years. Just as early education creates a foundation of skills and knowledge that allow a teen and young adult to prosper, early education also gives students the attitudes and values they need for success.

Motivation is a key component of both academic and life success. When a student is taught at an early age the value and enjoyment to be had from learning, they are more likely to carry those attitudes into adulthood. The modern job market greatly rewards workers who continue to learn and can act more independently. Beyond just knowledge and skills, this attitude toward knowledge, learning and self-improvement is a key to life success.

The Important Role of Public Administrators

Despite mandated education across the United States, not all students have truly equal access to quality education. This is especially true in urban school districts who deal with the crippling combination of high student populations, highly mixed demographics and stressed budgets.

A public administrator is typically an educated person and may have gotten a, whether from a physical institution or online, masters of public administration. He or she is primarily responsible for overseeing the budget, planning and organization for an urban area. This includes managing the funding and organization of the school system. Public Administrators have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that schools are properly funded at all levels and that a district’s policies and facilities invite high-quality teachers. Schools that deal with a large population of students in poverty require the extra support and funding needed to lift these students out of poverty.

Education Breaks the Cycle of Poverty

Poverty tends to be something that continues in families and populations. This is due to a wide variety of factors from income and employment to lifestyle and values. Many children develop the same habits, attitudes and lifestyle choices that keep them in a poverty situation. This is commonly considered the poverty cycle. Parents unable to break out of poverty themselves create a situation and value system that keeps their children in poverty, often inadvertently. The government has taken many actions to break the cycle of poverty, which have been largely successful, but education, rather than government assistance, is the ultimate key to overcoming poverty.

When a child gains access to quality education they may develop a different frame of mind and mental outlook for themselves and the future. It is often this change of reference that allows them to apply the skills and knowledge they learn in a way that breaks them out of the poverty cycle. A child of poverty must learn to think and act differently than their parents and other family members who are in poverty. A parent cannot be expected to teach their child a frame of reference that they themselves do not have, so only through access to education can a child gain this frame of reference and be given an important key which allows them to overcome poverty.

The link between education and poverty cannot be overstated. In the United States and across the globe, it is funding and access to education at all ages and levels that will ultimately ensure prosperity for all.