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Crosscurrents

State Audit Of Program For Homeless Students Finds Undercount, Lack Of Oversight

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U.S. Department of Education
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The Mckinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act offers rights and services to homeless students. But a state audit recently found widespread lack of compliance and oversight across California.

Federal law guarantees public school students experiencing homelessness a host of rights, to bring them educational stability. But a recent state audit found poor compliance and oversight across California.

"Local schools are completely under-identifying students who are experiencing homelessness. Best practices are not being followed. Staff are not being appropriately trained. Public information is not being disseminated." - San Francisco Assemblymember David Chiu

More than two years ago, we brought you the story of a 10-year-old homeless boy who traveled with his mom across three counties so he could stay at the Oakland school that knew and cared about him. His mother didn’t know that federal law guarantees homeless students help with transportation costs to and from school — and a lot more. Staff at the child’s school were in the dark too. They didn’t realize they were supposed to flag the district about his housing situation. Well, those were not isolated problems. A recent state audit found districts across California are not complying with the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act. undercounting their homeless students. And it found a significant lack of state oversight by the California Department of Education. 

Click the play button above to listen to the interview.

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