Barriers that pose serious problems to teaching and to student learning: Share of teachers reporting that factor is a "serious problem," all schools and in low- and high-poverty schools

All Low-poverty High-poverty Gap (high- minus low-poverty school) Ratio high-/low-poverty
Poverty 28.8% 9.5% 45.1% 35.6 ppt. 4.7
Students come to school unprepared to learn 27.3% 12.1% 38.6% 26.5 ppt. 3.2
Lack of parental involvement 21.5% 9.1% 31.2% 22.1 ppt. 3.4
Student apathy 18.4% 11.1% 22.3% 11.3 ppt. 2.0
Student absenteeism 14.9% 8.0% 19.7% 11.7 ppt. 2.5
Student tardiness 12.1% 6.1% 16.6% 10.5 ppt. 2.7
Poor student health 5.1% 2.0% 8.1% 6.1 ppt. 4.1
Student class-cutting 5.0% 2.5% 6.5% 4.0 ppt. 2.6

Note: Data are for teachers in public noncharter schools. The table shows for each of the factors listed in the table the share of teachers who  answered "serious problem" to the question, “To what extent is each of the following a problem in this school?” (other potential responses were "moderate problem," "minor problem," and "not a problem"). A teacher is in a low-poverty school if less than 25 percent of the student body in his/her classroom is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch programs; a teacher is in a high-poverty school if 50 percent or more of the student body is his/her classroom is eligible for those programs.

Source: 2015–2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) microdata from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

View the underlying data on