American schools have been falling behind in some ways over the years. It has not been just a failure politically. The parents in the recent past have had great economic hurdles to overcome.
The Wall Street Blues
The financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 did not help things at all. It has been considered by many experts as the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression. This crisis played a major role in the financial meltdown of the country’s most important businesses. People from every financial class lost absurd amounts of money from stocks, bonds, etc. Consumer wealth decline was recorded falling into the trillions of dollars. The financial plague spread to Europe and created the European sovereign debt crisis, which manifested as a liquidity crisis when hedge funds had their funds terminated, and money evaporated like water.
Real Estate Takes a Major Blow
The real estate bubble bursting was another major disaster. Real estate peaked in 2004, and many thought that properties would continue to rise forever, but they were wrong. Too many people who were not fiscally responsible were over lending, while others were over spending and reaching deep into empty pockets but going along as though their pockets were full of money. Everyone, it seemed, was over confident, busy encouraging too much home ownership and overvaluation of homes.
The country was operating fiscally in many situations without checks and balances. This led to declines in credit availability and that damaged investor confidence. Then we witnessed a significant impact on global stock markets in 2008-2009 and economies worldwide slowed down during this period. The credit continued to tighten, and international trade declined.
Mother Nature Throws Us a Curveball
Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and made a lasting impression. It was the most expensive and deadliest natural disaster the United States ever recorded. Over 1200 people perished from the storm and floods caused by the storm. Katrina caused severe destruction along the Florida and Texas coast, but the most significant accounts of death were in New Orleans.
Due to the hurricane surge protection failure, water flooded 6-12 miles inland, destroying everything in its path. A huge number of people who survived were displaced, and children ended up traveling with their families from city to city and school to school, which led to them falling behind. Parents could not afford to feed their kids, much less get them proper school supplies. Around 45% of children ended up living in low-income families. A sad number are homeless, with less than a 25% high school graduation rate. More than 16 million children live with families under the federal poverty level. That is 22% of all children in the United States.
A Little Help Goes a Long Way
Slowly, the US has been picking up the pieces and healing itself. Google Express has done its part and stood up to all the hard times for the children and their families, giving kids who have been displaced thousands of backpacks. When you spend $50 or more at Google Express, They’ll donate a backpack to a child in need.
Also, Operation Backpack has helped give kids a second chance to get their life back on track by getting them school supplies they so desperately need. This project has been giving them a sense of confidence and stability many kids are not getting at home or anywhere else, as well as making children feel that someone believes in them and their potential. Google Express has shown and reinforced the idea that it is important to care about a child’s education not only for the child’s sake but for the sake of us all. Click here to participate and make a difference!
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