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Are Schools Supporting Homeless Students Enough?

Are Schools Overcoming Homeless Hurdles?

Recent data from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth found that over 1.25 million public school students were homeless. This raises questions about how districts are supporting their students.

The organization found that "while transportation may be the most expensive necessity for homeless students, funds also become necessary for school supplies, tutoring, meals, and clothing," according to an article on EducationDive.com.

"The site also highlights the fact that one of the biggest challenges for schools is identifying which students are homeless and need support," the article said. "Homelessness is defined as students who lack a regular and stable nighttime residence, however, this does not necessarily mean living on the streets. It could mean shuffling from home to home, staying in hotels or shelters."

"According to NAEHCY of the student homeless population, 25% were in high school," wrote EducationDive's Allie Gross. "According to Barbara Duffield, director of policy and programs at NAEHCY, homeless teens who are living on their own typically find themselves in that predicament because of "a very bad situation at home, abuse or neglect." Additionally, Duffield says foster care is often not possible for the older kids, so finding housing becomes incredibly difficult."

According to the article, "this lack of stability often ends up in a rejection of schooling."

"According to the 2014 'Don't Call Them Dropouts' report from the America’s Promise Alliance's Center for Promise at Tufts University, homeless young people were 87% more likely to stop going to school," the article said. "Interestingly, after the NAEHCY report came out in November, Carmela DeCandia, the center's director and a co-author of the report, spoke with the Associated Press about how homeless veteran populations and chronic adult homeless numbers has been on the decline because of federal programming."

"The same level of attention and resources has not been targeted to help families and children," DeCandia told the Associated Press in the article. "As a society, we're going to pay a high price, in human and economic terms."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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