ERIC Number: ED311107
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Meeting the Educational Needs of Missouri's Homeless Children. State Plan & Survey Report.
Missouri State Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jefferson City.
A two-part survey prepared in compliance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act assessed the extent of homelessness among Missouri children and the types of educational barriers that they confront. The survey formed the basis for the federally required State Plan for educating homeless children. In this document, an explanation of the plan, entitled "Missouri State Plan for Homeless Children and Youth," precedes the survey report. A comprehensive review of the literature on homelessness, with emphasis on homeless children is also included. One survey, sent to all shelter operators in the state, asked each recipient to count the number of children sleeping in that facility on November 9, 1988. Educational barriers were explored through a second survey sent to all school superintendents. Interviews were conducted with 120 shelter workers, parents living in shelters, school personnel, and children. The following major conclusions are presented: (1) at least 600 children sleep in shelters each night; (2) nearly half are school-age, and most are black and urban; (3) most had at least one sibling who was left somewhere else temporarily; (4) after an initial period of absence from school most of the younger school-age children resumed schooling, but many of the older did not; (5) educational barriers most often cited were uncertainty, poverty, low self-esteem, and family instability; (6) homelessness has a negative effect on educational attainment; (7) few shelters have the educational resources or quiet space that children need to be successful in school; (8) most school districts consider residence a fundamental factor affecting enrollment, and homeless parents are often unaware of the educational rights of their children; and (9) a precise count of the homeless is impossible. Statistical data are included on 19 tables. The appendices comprise a map showing the location and number of homeless shelters serving children and copies of the survey questionnaires. A 93-item bibliography is also appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: Missouri State Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jefferson City.
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Stewart B McKinney Homeless Assistance Act 1987