Journalism in the Public Interest

Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education?

ProPublica analyzed federal education data from the 2009-2010 school year to examine whether states provide high-poverty schools equal access to advanced courses and special programs that researchers say will help them later in life. This is the first nationwide picture of exactly which courses are being taken at which schools and districts across the country. More than three-quarters of all public school children are represented. Read our story and our methodology.

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Mellichamp Elementary

350 MURRAY ROAD, ORANGEBURG, S.C., 29115 | Grades PreK-5

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers
This School
District 6,865 450 3%
State 664K 43,359 9%
State Average
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch



Are in a Gifted/Talented Program





0% Am Indian

0% Asian

90% Black

6% Hispanic

4% White

Mellichamp Elementary, part of the Orangeburg 05 district, is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The school reports an enrollment number of 345 students in grades pre-kindergarten through five, and it has 23 teachers on staff.

Mellichamp Elementary is above both the state and district averages in terms of the percentage of its students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. On average, 51 percent of students in South Carolina are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, whereas 92 percent of Mellichamp Elementary students are eligible. At the district level, 78 percent of students are eligible.

ProPublica's analysis found that all too often, states and schools provide poor students fewer educational programs like Advanced Placement, gifted and talented programs, and advanced math and science classes. Studies have linked participation in these programs with better outcomes later in life. Our analysis uses free and reduced-price lunch to estimate poverty at schools. We based our findings on the most comprehensive data set of access to advanced classes and special programs in U.S. public schools — known as the Civil Rights Data Set— released by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Mellichamp Elementary's enrollment rate for gifted and talented is 1 percent.

Sullivans Island Elementary is a lower-poverty school than Mellichamp Elementary, with 4 percent of its students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. The school enrolls 23 percent of students in its gifted and talented program. The school is located in Sullivans Is, S.C.

These data points were reported by schools and districts to the Office for Civil Rights. For more information about the data, see our full methodology.

— Generated by Narrative Science