23 February 2009

Undereducated Parenting in Memphis and Shelby County

Dear Friends,

We would like to share with you a recent policy brief produced by the Center for Urban Child Policy at The Urban Child Institute. This brief discusses undereducated parenting in our community and includes suggestions for policymakers to help provide more secure beginnings for vulnerable children in Memphis and Shelby County.

Among the key findings:

- In Shelby County, 28% of children are born to mothers lacking a high school diploma- and 13% are born into households where neither parent has a high school diploma. Only about one in five (21%) of Shelby County children are born to mothers with a college degree.

- Ninety percent of Shelby County families headed by a person lacking a high school diploma reside inside the Memphis city limits.

- In Shelby County, most families in poverty do not have educational attainment beyond high school; furthermore, almost 60% of our unemployed population has no formal education beyond the 12th grade.

- Parental educational attainment is a good predictor of a child’s overall life outcomes and successes. Increased parental education leads to improved child health and increases in educational performance and expectations.

Educational opportunities can be more accessible to low-income families in Memphis and Shelby County.

Policy Suggestions:

1. Increase funding for education and training in vocational and occupational skills and certification programs for low-income parents.

2. Increase access to financial aid and childcare for low-income students.

3. Head Start can promote the pursuit of higher education among the next generation of parents (Source: National Center for Children in Poverty).

The Center for Urban Child Policy conducts policy analysis and outreach as part of The Urban Child Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. The Center is committed to building public will and a sustained political voice for children in order to improve the well-being of all children and families.

We welcome your questions and comments.

Doug Imig, Ph.D.
Frances Breland, M.A.
Katie Devlin, M.S.

No comments: