(WVLT/AP) - A new report shows the South is heading for an economic crisis if states don't begin investing more to help poor children succeed in school.
The report from the Southern Education Foundation shows that a majority, or an average of 54%, of students enrolled in public schools across 15 Southern states, including Tennessee, are now low income.
The report shows 53% of Tennessee students are low income, with 50% in Kentucky.
The report says Southern states are not doing enough to make sure they graduate from high school and go on to college.
Low income students are children who are eligible for free and reduced meals at school.
But schools across the South spend less per pupil than other states.
Poor students are more likely to repeat a grade and are less likely to graduate from high school than their wealthier classmates.