Tag Archives: 7 Things About Homeless Kids You Probably Didn’t Know

GAO report: Better oversight is needed in program for homeless children

27 Aug

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: Money changes everything: The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people.
This economy must focus on job creation and job retention and yes, hope. Both for those racing through college and those who have paid their education and training dues. “You deserve a break today at Mc Donalds,” the only employer who seems to be hiring. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/22/3rd-world-america-the-economy-affects-the-society-of-the-future/

Lauren Camera reported in the Education Week article, Better Oversight Needed of Federal Program for Homeless Students, GAO Says:

The U.S. Department of Education needs to provide better oversight of a federal program aimed at ensuring that homeless students have access to the public education system, a new Government Accountability Office report found.
The authors of the report, obtained by Education Week, listed several challenges to the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, which provides students with transportation to and from school as well as wraparound services such as health care, counseling, and food assistance. The biggest of those include limited staff and resources, the high cost of transportation, student stigma associated with homelessness, and responding to students made homeless by natural disasters.
And while the department has protocols for monitoring the program, the report notes, it doesn’t have a plan to ensure adequate oversight in every state. In fact, it the department assessed the program in just 28 states from fiscal year 2010 to 2013, and in only three states since then….. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2014/08/gao_report_ed_department_needs.html

Here are the highlights of the GAO report:

Contact:
Kay Brown
(202) 512-7215
brownke@gao.gov
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov
What GAO Found
To identify and serve homeless students under the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, officials in the 20 school districts where GAO conducted interviews reported conducting a range of activities to support homeless youth, but cited several challenges. With regard to GAO’s interviews, 13 of the 20 districts identified homeless students through housing surveys at enrollment, while all 20 relied on referrals from schools or service providers. However, officials in 8 of the 20 districts noted that the under-identification of homeless students was a problem. Districts GAO reviewed provided eligible students with transportation to and from school, educational services, and referrals to other service providers for support such as health care or food assistance. Among the challenges that officials in the 20 districts cited were limited staff and resources to provide services, the cost of transportation, student stigma associated with homelessness, and responding to students made homeless by natural disasters. Nationally, school districts surveyed most recently in school year 2010-11 by the Department of Education (Education) reported providing many services while facing similar challenges.
Education’s EHCY program manager and state program coordinators have collaborated with other government agencies and with private organizations by sharing information, participating in interagency councils on homelessness, and providing technical assistance to relevant staff. In addition, state EHCY program coordinators have provided training to school districts and helped connect local programs to ensure homeless students receive various services. However, federal and state officials frequently cited limited resources and differing federal definitions of homelessness as constraints to greater collaboration.
Education has protocols for monitoring state EHCY programs, but no plan to ensure adequate oversight of all states, though monitoring is a key management tool for assessing the quality of performance over time and resolving problems promptly. Prior to fiscal year 2010, it had been Education’s policy to monitor 50 states and 3 area programs at least once during a 3-year period, and it did so for fiscal years 2007 to 2009. Subsequently, the department adopted a risk-based approach in fiscal year 2010 and monitored 28 states over the next 3 years. In fiscal year 2013, Education again changed its approach to EHCY program monitoring and has monitored 3 state programs since then. Department officials cited other priorities and a lack of staff capacity as reasons for the decrease in oversight. As a result, Education lacks assurance that states are complying with program requirements. GAO found gaps in state monitoring of districts that could weaken program performance, reinforcing the importance of effective federal monitoring of states.
Declining Frequency of Federal Monitoring for EHCY Compliance since Fiscal Year 2007
Why GAO Did This Study
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act established a grant program to help the nation’s homeless students—more than one million in school year 2011-12—have access to public education. Under the Education for Homeless Children and Youth grant program, states and their school districts are required to identify homeless children and provide them with needed services and support. In fiscal year 2014, Education received about $65 million to administer this program. Education provided formula grants to states, which competitively awarded funds to school districts to help meet program requirements. GAO was asked to review program implementation and oversight.
GAO examined (1) how districts identify and serve homeless students and challenges they face (2) how Education and states collaborate with other service providers to address student needs and any barriers, and (3) the extent to which Education monitors program compliance. GAO reviewed relevant federal laws, guidance, and reports, and analyzed Education’s state and school district survey data from school year 2010-11. GAO also interviewed federal officials, and state and local officials in 20 school districts—representing a mix of urban, suburban, and rural districts and grant status—in four states, selected for geographic diversity and other characteristics, such as experience with natural disasters.
What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that Education develop a plan to ensure adequate oversight of the EHCY program. Education concurred with our recommendation.
For more information, contact Kay Brown at (202) 512-7215 or brownke@gao.gov.
Status Legend:

• Review Pending
• Open
• Closed – implemented
• Closed – not implemented
Recommendation for Executive Action
Recommendation: To help ensure state compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act, Education should develop a monitoring plan to ensure adequate oversight of the EHCY program. This plan could, for example, determine a schedule of states to be monitored and incorporate procedures to assess whether states need to update their state plans.
Agency Affected: Department of Education
Status: Open
Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Education of Homeless Students:
Improved Program Oversight Needed
GAO-14-465: Published: Jul 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2014.
• Highlights http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665184.pdf
View Report (PDF, 65 pages)
http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665185.pdf

Additional Materials:
• Podcast:
o http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/665378

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families https://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Challenges faced by homeless kids

27 May

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: Money changes everything: The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation wrote the informative Washington Post article, How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor:

In fact, research published by The Century Foundation and other organizations going back more than a decade shows that there are an array of strategies that can be highly effective in addressing the socioeconomic gaps in education:
* Pre-K programs. As Century’s Greg Anrig has noted, there is a wide body of research suggesting that well-designed pre-K programs in places like Oklahoma have yielded significant achievement gains for students. Likewise, forthcoming Century Foundation research by Jeanne Reid of Teachers College, Columbia University, suggests that allowing children to attend socioeconomically integrated (as opposed to high poverty) pre-K settings can have an important positive effect on learning.
* Socioeconomic Housing Integration. Inclusionary zoning laws that allow low-income and working-class parents and their children to live in low-poverty neighborhoods and attend low-poverty schools can have very positive effects on student achievement, as researcher David Rusk has long noted. A natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, showed that low-income students randomly assigned to public housing units and allowed to attend schools in low-poverty neighborhoods scored at 0.4 of a standard deviation higher than those randomly assigned to higher-poverty neighborhoods and schools. According to the researcher, Heather Schwartz of the RAND Corporation, the initial sizable achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students in low-poverty neighborhoods and schools was cut in half in math and by one-third in reading over time.
* Socioeconomic School Integration. School districts that reduce concentrations of poverty in schools through public school choice have been able to significantly reduce the achievement and attainment gaps. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, where a longstanding socioeconomic integration plan has allowed students to choose to attend mixed-income magnet schools, the graduation rate for African American, Latino, and low-income students is close to 90 percent, far exceeding the state average for these groups.
* College Affirmative Action for Low-Income Students. Research finds attending a selective college confers substantial benefits, and that many more low-income and working-class students could attend and succeed in selective colleges than currently do. Research by Anthony Carnevale and Stephen J. Rose of Georgetown University for the Century volume, America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education , found that selective universities could increase their representation from the bottom socioeconomic half of the population from 10 percent to 38 percent, and overall graduation rates for all students would remain the same.
In addition to these ideas, Century Foundation research by Gordon MacInnes has highlighted promising programs to promote the performance of low-income students in New Jersey. Forthcoming research will suggest ways to revitalize organized labor, a development that could raise wages of workers and thereby have a positive impact on the educational outcomes of their children. We will also be exploring ways to strengthen community colleges as a vital institutions for social mobility. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-to-attack-the-growing-educational-gap-between-rich-and-poor/2012/02/10/gIQArDOg4Q_blog.html

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people.

This economy must focus on job creation and job retention and yes, hope. Both for those racing through college and those who have paid their education and training dues. “You deserve a break today at Mc Donalds,” the only employer who seems to be hiring. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/22/3rd-world-america-the-economy-affects-the-society-of-the-future/

Ann Brenoff wrote in the Huffington Post article, 7 Things About Homeless Kids You Probably Didn’t Know:

Here are seven things about being a homeless kid that you probably didn’t know:
1. Making friends is harder when you’re homeless.
Carey Fuller, who lives in her car with her 11-year-old daughter Maggie Warner in the Pacific Northwest, said she “cringed” when she recently took Maggie out to play in a park. Things were going fine until “someone asked her where she lived,” Fuller explained. It’s the death knell question, the one that throws the wet blanket on the playdate and it’s usually just a matter of seconds before the other kid takes off in the direction of someone else….
Fuller became homeless after losing her job in the financial services sector in Seattle. Initially, the family downsized to a smaller apartment, but when that still proved too costly, Fuller bought an RV and moved into it with her two daughters. Maggie was a toddler at the time. The family has since downsized to a minivan. Fuller, who takes whatever part-time work she can find, is well-known as an advocate for homeless kids and writes about her life as a homeless mother living in a van.
2. Birthdays can be disappointing for a homeless kid.
Forget having a big party with lots of friends coming over. Sure you can have a party in the park if it’s a nice day. But who is going to pay for the pizza and cake and if people give you presents, where will you put them anyway?
3. Canned food drives don’t actually make much sense.
“Where are homeless people supposed to cook all those cans of food you collect?” asks Maggie Warner. Homeless people have no kitchens, she points out.
Gift cards or a credit to the grocery store where they can buy fresh fruit and pre-made meals makes more sense. But some donors are reluctant to do this because they think homeless people will use the money for beer or alcohol.
4. Homeless kids aren’t as healthy as kids with homes.
The National Center on Family Homelessness says that homeless kids have four times as many respiratory infections, twice as many ear infections and five times more gastrointestinal problems. They are three times more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems than non-homeless children.
Being homeless is stressful and practicing good hygiene is harder when you don’t have ready access to bathrooms, sinks and showers. Homeless kids are also exposed to the weather and elements. Homelessness is connected to poverty and when you are poor, you often must rely on free clinics for health care; seeing doctors is not a regular thing.
5. Homeless kids may try hard but are more likely to struggle in school.
Of homeless elementary students, only 21.5 percent are proficient in math and 24.4 percent in reading. It is even worse among high school students, where just 11.4 percent are proficient in math and 14.6 percent in reading….
Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher, began tutoring homeless kids in a park in Santa Monica, Calif., encouraging them to stay in school and participate in school activities. In 1993, she founded School on Wheels, a program that tutors homeless kids in six Southern California counties. The organization also provides backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms for homeless kids and helps their parents navigate school resources. The group runs two learning centers too.
6. Homeless kids put up with a lot of daily indignities, small things that you probably don’t realize.
They appreciate getting your used clothing donations, but once in a while they’d like to wear something without some other kid’s name written in it. They also don’t feel great sneaking in the school bathroom before class to brush their teeth, but it’s often the only place available. Maybe there’s a way to issue them a free lunch card that looks like the lunch card everyone else uses? If their family doesn’t have a post office box, it’s hard to mail home their report card. They don’t want everyone to know if the PTA paid for them to go on the class field trip. School projects that involve a trip to the crafts store for supplies pose a special burden on their families who can’t afford it. Participating in sports sounds great, but soccer cleats and baseball uniforms aren’t exactly in the budget. A lost textbook is a problem for a regular kid; a lost textbook is a catastrophe for a homeless kid.
7. Homeless kids are a pretty resilient lot.
When The Huffington Post asked Maggie what she wanted to say to our readers, this is what she said: “Never give up and never stop hoping things will get better even when you feel like you’re at the bottom.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/25/homeless-kids_n_5359430.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/