111706 231 pm page 214 the 2000 census supplementary

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Managing Human Resources
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Chapter 3 / Exercise 4
Managing Human Resources
Morris/Snell
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09656_07_ch7_p192_225.qxd 11/17/06 2:31 PM Page 214
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Managing Human Resources
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Chapter 3 / Exercise 4
Managing Human Resources
Morris/Snell
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• The 2000 Census Supplementary Survey found the following: 17.06 percent of households received public assistance or noncash benefit(s). 3.83 percent received supplemental security income. 2.60 percent received cash public assistance benefits. 6.12 percent received food stamp benefits in the past 12 months. 8.18 percent received free or reduced price school meals benefits in the past 12 months. Today, great disparities exist in the distribution of educational resources. Because funding for education comes primarily from local property taxes, school districts in wealthy suburban areas generally pay higher teachers’ salaries, have newer buildings, and provide state-of-the-art equipment. By contrast, schools in poorer areas have a limited funding base. Students in central-city schools and poverty-stricken rural areas often attend dilapidated schools that lack essential equipment and teaching materials. Author Jonathan Kozol (1991, qtd. in Feagin and Feagin, bility through achievements at school. Functionalists generally see the education system as flexible, allowing most students the opportunity to attend college if they apply themselves (Ballantine, 2001). In contrast, most conflict theorists stress that schools are agencies for reproducing the capitalist class system and perpetuating inequality in society. From this perspective, education perpetuates poverty. Parents with limited income are not able to provide the same educational opportunities for their children as are families with greater financial resources. 215 Inequality in the United States I’m a hard worker. I’m friendly. I’m dependable. I’m a fast learner. When I was working in the schools, I was there every day on time. And whenever somebody needed me, I was there and I stayed late. —Linda Bailey, a thirty-three-year-old mother of two young sons, had been on welfare for eight years when she began participating in a job-readiness program in New York City (qtd. in Swarns, 1997: 1). With her training, Linda found a part-time job in a super- market. Upon receiving her first paycheck, she stated that “Now I don’t feel like a failure anymore” (qtd. in Swarns, 1997: 1). But how far can Linda and other women like her go in supporting themselves and their children on the earnings they receive from jobs that are part time or pay only the federal minimum wage, which has remained at $5.15 per hour since 1997? When dramatic changes to this nation’s welfare laws were enacted by Congress and signed into law by Presi- dent Clinton in 1996, the stated purposes of that new law included not only getting people off the welfare rolls by requiring welfare recipients to find paid employment but also bringing families together by encouraging parental responsibility. When the law was enacted, more than 14 million U.S. children—one in five—lived in poverty. Today, although children younger than age six remain the poorest age group in the nation, the percent- age of U.S. children living in poverty has been reduced (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).

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