Across Oregon, students in high-poverty elementary schools struggle where a majority of students are not native English speakers. Salem-Keizer has 13 such schools – more than any other district in the state.

Students line up outside Highland Elementary School (Fred Joe/Special to Salem Reporter)

In spite of the effort by educators, Salem-Keizer’s high-poverty elementary schools perform on average worse than others in Oregon, even when accounting for the high number of English language learners.

The state has 195 elementary schools where more than three-quarters of students live in poverty, including 22 in Salem-Keizer. Most high-poverty Salem-Keizer schools rank in the bottom quarter of that list for the percentage of students meeting state reading standards.

About half of Oregon’s high-poverty elementary schools improved the percentage

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