Homeless Children and the Educational System Essay

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Homeless Children and the Educational System Many people still think of homeless transients as alcoholics and/or mentally disabled. The truth is, the current homeless population consists of runaway adolescents, single adult males or females, battered women and over one million homeless families with children – typically headed by a female parent. To be homeless means that one’s primary residence is a public or private shelter, emergency housing, hotel, motel, living with family or friends or any public space – like parks, automobiles, aqueducts or abandoned buildings (Pawlas, 1996). Statement of the Problem With the number of homeless students on the rise, schools encounter new educational challenges that include:…show more content…
Under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the fifty states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia received funding to investigate the number and the needs of homeless children, to identify obstacles that would prevent them from receiving an education and to develop a plan to overcome these problems (Pawlas, 1996). The McKinney Act also provides emergency food assistance, adult literacy instruction, job training, health services and other programs. Under this act, homeless children are ensured access to the same, free appropriate public education other children in the state receive. Subsequently, in 1990 and 1994, amendments were incorporated into the earlier Act of 1987 to ensure equal access to schools for homeless children. States were told to remove barriers in enrollment, attendance, or success in schools-proof of immunization, guardianship and birth certificate requirements (Eddowes, 1994). These provisions made it clear that everything possible should be done to support the educational pursuits of homeless children and youth. Through the 1990 and 1994 amendments to the early Act of 1987, legislation provided formula grants for states to carry out the Educational for Homeless Children and Youth Program (subtitle VII-B). The following are key provisions of the law (Rafferty, 1997-1998): The law requires states to ensure that local educational agencies do not create a separate education system for
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