Using data from across the state, this study found that homeless California students score and graduate at lower levels and suffer from more exclusionary discipline than their peers. It requires that all local education agencies (LEAs) ensure that homeless students have access to the same free and appropriate public education, including public preschools, that is provided to other children and young people. Researchers studying homeless people found that of the homeless preschoolers they evaluated, more than half had vocabulary equal to or lower than the first percentile. In part four, the next post in this series, we'll present an overview of the unique obstacles school staff face in providing a variety of services to homeless youth.
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to academic success can be the effects of toxic stress, the potentially lasting impact of deprivation that can accompany poverty and homelessness. Homeless students have educational aspirations like those of their peers to graduate from high school and go to college. According to the Local Control and Financing Formula (LCFF), any student identified to receive free or reduced-price meals (FRPM) is included in the socioeconomically disadvantaged responsibility subgroup of schools. Visit the data reports page on homeless children and young people to access static data reports specific to homeless youth.
Finally, the interaction between toxic stress and the many other barriers posed by homelessness and poverty means that children do not progress through grade levels. From the Voices of Youth Count initiative, it is the ninth in a series of reports on research for impact, prepared by Chapin Hall, of the University of Chicago, on how to understand and address homelessness among young people. Homeless students in California are defined as “people who lack a fixed, regular and adequate overnight residence. This report provides findings that highlight the multiple challenges faced by homeless students and suggests comprehensive practical and policy strategies that will be implemented at multiple levels of government to improve educational outcomes.
In addition, half of school-age children who are homeless experience anxiety, depression and withdrawal. The local education agency (LEA) must submit a registry of the homeless program for infants, toddlers and pre-kindergarten who are enrolled in CALPADS and who are homeless, since these students are listed in all CALPADS homeless reports. That's why, when preschool-age children who have been left homeless reach middle childhood and the rigor of elementary school, the consequences of poverty are revealed in countless ways. Resources and FAQs are also available to support local education agencies, links for the homeless, and advocates for homeless students.
Nearly 1 in 5 of the national population of students identified as homeless resides in California.