Holley has highest school-age poverty rate in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 January 2019 at 1:51 pm

None of Orleans County districts are in top 50 in state for poverty rates

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau about poverty rates for school districts shows that none of the districts in Orleans County are even close to being in the top 50 of the districts with the highest poverty rates.

The Rochester City School District has the highest school-age poverty rate in the state at 52.2 percent, with 17,895 school-aged children out of 34,286, in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. The 50th highest rate is 30.2 percent of school-age children in poverty and that’s in Sidney Central School n Delaware County.

The Census Bureau detailed the poverty rates for children, ages 5 to 17, in each school district. In Orleans County, Holley has the highest poverty rate at 22.4 percent or 245 out of 1,094 school-aged children in 2017.

That is just above the 22.0 percent in Albion, the 20.8 percent in Medina, the 19.5 percent in Lyndonville and 17.8 percent in Kendall.

The Orleans poverty rates are higher than neighboring districts outside the county. Barker has a rate of 11.5 percent, while Batavia is at 18.3 percent. Brockport is at 13.6 percent; Elba is at 9.7 percent; Hilton at 8.8 percent and Roy-Hart, 9.0 percent.

Holley Central School Superintendent Brian Bartalo said the district’s leadership discusses the poverty rate and how the district can use technology and education to help students overcome poverty.

Bartalo joined Holley as school superintendent in July. He said he is impressed with the community support, and the push for high achievement for all students.

“The Holley community wants the best for their kids,” Bartalo said today. “The poverty rate isn’t defining us, although if the trend continues we will need to look for more ways to support our kids.”

Bartalo said Holley has technology and Internet access “that levels the playing field.”

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