ERIC Number: ED362962
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Disadvantage of Homelessness in Children's Schooling.
Shaver, Debra M.; Dornbusch, Sanford M.
This paper presents findings of a study that investigated the extent to which homeless children in the United States receive the "free and appropriate education" to which they are entitled. Data were collected through several surveys conducted in two San Francisco Bay Area counties: (1) surveys of parents in homeless shelters with 313 school-age children and homeless parents with 607 school-age children who requested social services; (2) interviews with 92 homeless school-age children, 65 formerly homeless children, and 83 families at-risk of becoming homeless; and (3) a survey of 71 school district staff members in 29 public school districts. Findings show that an estimated 88 to 92 percent of homeless children were enrolled in school and that the children were not denied access to education because of restrictive enrollment requirements. The more serious obstacles were the high number of school transfers and transportation. Although parents expressed concern about their children's academic performance, school appeared to play an important stabilizing role in the children's lives. It is recommended that educators minimize the disruptions that result from frequent school transfers and poor attendance and collaborate with service agencies to meet students' basic needs. Finally, social policies that help families find permanent housing are needed to improve homeless children's chances for educational success. Five tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California (San Francisco Bay Area)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).