24 Aug 2011

strategic support of homeless students needed in times of fiscal constraint

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Title I funds can be better leveraged to support students’ needs during periods of homelessness. In fact, even though federal policy mandates such use of Title I funding (all students who are identified as homeless are automatically qualified to receive Title I services, regardless of whether or not their particular schools receive such funding), there is little documentation in the literature about how often and/or efficaciously homeless students have benefitted from Title I in school districts across the U.S. Are the specific needs of students who are homeless being addressed by strategically deployed Title I funds? Aside from isolated state reports (e.g., New Mexico Public Education Department, 2010; Oregon Department of Education, 2008) the answer is altogether unclear. Given the rapid expansion of the number of students who are being identified as homeless each year and that Title I funds are generally mobilized at much higher rates and levels than McKinney-Vento funds (for wider populations of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds), this gap in both research and practice is all the more confounding.

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