Identifying Root Causes For Literacy Inequities in the Williamsburg County Education System
Keywords:literacy rates, public education, private education, third grade students, Williamsburg County, Horry County, public funding
There appears to be an alarming attention drawn to the low literacy rates of American citizens in the past years. The ability to read is often used synonymously with the ability to be a good citizen, hold a satisfactory job, and perform daily duties. Yet, literacy rates have fallen over the last several years. One county in particular that frames this issue is Williamsburg County of South Carolina. In Williamsburg County learning how to read ceases being taught in the third grade; from then on it is assumed that a student can read. Poor public school success rates have paved the way for private schools to outnumber public schools in the area. Because of this phenomenon, a racial literacy gap has subsequently developed in the county. Here, I propose that school budgets have an influence on the presence of this phenomenon. I hypothesize that the higher a school’s budget is, the higher their general success rate in ELA studies will be. My research finds that while this may be true for Williamsburg County, other counties in the state do not mirror these same results. Additionally, I find no evidence to support the subsequent hypothesis that school budget has a correlation with literacy success rates of particular demographics. Given the results of this research, other questions as to indicating factors of school success are left unanswered for future research.
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