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Schools Struggle to Reach Homeless Students, Data Finds

Schools Struggle to Reach Homeless Students, Data Finds

More than 1.1 million public school students in the U.S. do not have permanent homes, and recent data finds that there are plenty of schools that struggle to address their needs.

According to data gathered by the Department of Education, California “has the highest rate of homeless children enrolled in schools anywhere in the country,” said an article on NPR.org.

"I think schools are doing the best they can," said Patricia Julianelle of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. “But the majority of these children are not receiving the assistance they need.”

Ironically, the article said, “they are the only homeless service providers in most communities in the state. Yet schools absolutely are underresourced to meet this problem. It is a problem in both rural communities and large cities — children and youth who have become the hidden homeless.”

Catherine Meek, executive director of School on Wheels, said homelessness has a devastating impact on children's education, the article said.

“Experts estimate that they are nine times more likely to repeat a grade, four times more likely to drop out of school entirely," she said. "They are at risk for physical abuse, sexual abuse, health, medical issues [are] a huge problem."

This year, the article said, “the nonprofit has served more than 3,000 homeless students. The volunteer tutors go where the kids are: motels, shelters — even to families living in cars.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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