The share of students who are economically disadvantaged. Economic disadvantage is based on a student's participation in social safety net programs.
This measure not only shows the proportion of low-income students and families in an area, it is also an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources.
In 2020, 36% of students in Essex County were economically disadvantaged, above the statewide rate of 33%. Essex County's rate has increased from 28% in 2015, rising at a similar rate to the state.
Of the 41 school districts and charter schools in Essex County with data in 2020, 19 had economically disadvantaged students make up more than 25% of their student body, and 7 had rates of 50% or more. The Lawrence School District at 71%, followed by the Lawrence Family Development Charter and the Lynn School District (at 59% and 58%) had the highest rates in Essex County.
Middlesex, MA had an economically disadvantaged rate that was 14 percentage points less than Essex County, at 22%. Middlesex has increased by 5 percentage points from 2015 to 2020, in comparison to Essex's 8 points.
Data is from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students are considered economically disadvantaged if they participate in one or more of the following state-administered programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC); the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program; and MassHealth (Medicaid). It is important to note that a lower share of students is identified as economically disadvantaged under this measure than was identified under the previously used free or reduced-price lunch measure. Data for this measure is not available prior to 2015. National data is not available for this measure.