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There's more than just an economic gap between rich and poor families; there is also a growing education gap. When jobs go away in a state, a new study finds, college attendance goes down for children in poor families.

What it means: Education has traditionally been the great equalizer in American society. This study shows the poorest people don't just suffer in the immediate aftermath of a lousy economy - the next generation is affected as the education gulf widens as well.

The numbers: In states where jobs decreased by 7% or more between 1995 and 2011, college attendance by children from the poorest families dropped by 20% – even when financial aid increased in those same states to help them go to college. The college education gap in these states was significant for poor, white families. It was even wider for children from poor, black families.

Poor children in dire economic circumstances suffer from emotional and economic stress, which makes their path towards college even more difficult, the researchers noted. They don't go to college just because they can't afford it; it also takes a toll on them emotionally and in the classroom, further depressing their chances of going to college after high school.

"Rather than clearing a path to new educational opportunities in deindustrializing areas, job destruction knocks many youth off the path to college," the authors wrote.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.