Opinion and Video: Inequalities in the Delta education system should be addressed

Mattie Thrasher
Oxford Stories

Kate Martin taught in the Delta school system, where she experienced a beautifully broken place. Her teaching career started in the Delta at a small school in Sunflower County. Since she obtained an alternative teaching license, she had a lot to learn about classroom management.

She said Delta schools are still segregated because some white children are being taken out of public schools and placed in private schools. Funding for public and private schools is unequal. Therefore, those who cannot afford private education end up getting substandard education.

“The Delta mirrors the bigger problems we have in America,” Martin said.



Run down gas station off Highway 6. Photo by Mattie Thrasher.

Martin said parents should become mindful of the cultural separation that sending your child to a private school could cause. “When you pay money, that speaks louder,” she said.

After three years in a small Delta town, Martin felt like she was part of the community. She said the Delta school system inequity is the root of the problem that comes from fear or opportunity hoarding and harms the community as a whole.


George H. Oliver school. Photo by Mattie Thrasher.

It is hard to divide resources in small Delta towns, and that leads to community problems and prevents unity. Children from different backgrounds are not going to school together, and they don’t learn about and from each other.

Most everyone can agree that every child has the right to equality education. Then why is inequity permeating the education system in Mississippi and the United States? Some Mississippi Mississippi children lacking resources have the same right as children who attend a private academy in Hollywood.


Cotton fields of the Delta. Photo by Mattie Thrasher.

Children can’t choose where they come from, so why are they being forced into  failure? According to the, “(Delta) Their average income is just over $10,000, half the level for Mississippi as a whole, and 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is 17 percent, more than twice the national rate.”

Poverty is linked to lack of education because it takes away opportunity from Mississippi children. Furthermore, poverty is a cycle of food insecurity, obesity, suicide, and crime that many children do not choose, and this should be understood by the masses.

Leave a Reply