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Poverty in Oakland County

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
...continued from page 7

He pointed out that Hazel Park, with a 2014 poverty level at 28.7 percent, double its 2000 number of 12.4 percent; or Oak Park, where 18.6 percent is at the poverty level, also double its 2000 level of 9.4 percent; Ferndale, with 17 percent at the poverty level, versus 8.2 percent in 2000; or the 15.2 percent level in Southfield, which had a 7.4 poverty level in 2000, "had large African American populations moving into them during the last several years. It tends to be a much poorer, less educated population," Metzger said, noting that many sought the opportunity to flee Detroit with its poor educational system, bringing with them endemic problems.

"Educationally, many of them are graduating, but with much lower test scores. Obviously, that's a sign they're going to have future problems," he said. "You have a lot of issues, a lot of gaps, a lot of students who are economically disadvantaged by race and other issues. To give them the opportunities, you have to help them to go back to school, to educate them, but also to give them the tools so they can move on to college and not need remedial courses, or to move on to careers where they can succeed, like plumbers or other needed professions. Who doesn't need a plumber?"

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