Student homelessness is on the rise in Oregon: survey

Nov 21 2019, 4:36 pm

The number of homeless students is on the rise in Oregon, according to a survey released Thursday by Oregon’s Department of Education.

The 2018-2019 Homeless Student Count survey found that 22,215 students in Oregon did not have access to a stable and regular nighttime residence during the school year.

The survey also found that the 22,21f5 figure represented a 2% increased compared to the total of 2017 to 2018, which was 21,746 homeless students. The latter was a small decline from the data gathered in the 2016-2017 school year, which saw a homeless student population of 22,541 in Oregon.

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Based on the rules present under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, any student is assumed and considered to be homeless if they “live in an emergency shelter or transitional housing unit, share housing with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship, reside in motels or live in substandard housing, tents, or trailers.”

While these statistics are unfortunate in that they represent an increase in the number of homeless students in Oregon, the Director of Oregon’s Department of Education Colt Gill said that students experiencing homelessness will have more opportunities to succeed with the aid of the Student Success Act.

“Thanks to the Student Success Act, we’ll be able to do more to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school with a plan for their future,” Gill said in a press release.

“Right now school districts use federal funds to provide essential services such as clothing, school supplies and transportation to school. Student Success Act funds will allow school districts to increase transportation so students can participate in off-campus career and technical programs, after school activities, summer school, and other opportunities outside the school day,” continued Gill.

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