Both states have very high populations of African Americans. I know I am racist to point this out, but just as blacks make up a disproportionate number of criminals, so do they too consume welfare and other government handouts, as well as do poorly in school.
I wish is was not so, and would like to see them all do better, especially in education, but the culture is that doing well in school = acting white, and those who do so are pariahs among their peers.
Southern Democrats are to blame, in my opinion
I would consider it more the plantation aspect of these states.
Most these people have been neglected since the Civil War.
The Segregation imposed on the South by the Southern Democratic Party made things even worse.
White sharecroppers were another part of this formula.
There have been some good movies about the plight of sharecroppers (1950's or 1960's movies, that is).
There were some poor whites. But part of this was the oppression of Southern African-Americans at the hands of the Southern Democrats.
Eisenhower and JFK Sr made strides to stop this oppression.