Coronavirus school closures force low-income, homeless students off grid

Coronavirus school closures force low-income, homeless students off grid

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In the past nine months, COVID-19 devastated the American economy and over 300,000 Americans died. Another emerging result that experts fear could have serious long-term effects is the increasing number of children missing from school following COVID-19 closure last spring.

A survey conducted by CBS’s “60 Minutes” found that in 78 of the nation’s largest school districts, at least 240,000 students remained unaccounted for resuming school this fall. Since then, chronic-absenteeism levels in students have continued to rise, with millions of children at risk of falling behind.

In an interview with Globe Live Media, Professor Robert Balfan of the Johns Hopkins School of Education and Director of the Sub Graduates Center attributed this drop-off of a student to a number of factors associated with distance education from in-shift. .

“Maybe once the school opens the kids will reappear because then the school is real, there is room to go. We can hope. But in general, when the kids get out it will come back. Is a tough slogan for, “Balafanz said.

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He said that “part of the tragedy” is that some children are not participating due to Internet or technical issues, or have parents who need to leave the house for work so the oldest child takes care of siblings Takes responsibility for

“Another reason they are actually working in delivery services is because the family income has been affected by COVID,” he said.

The situation is particularly unfortunate, Balfanaz said, as the country has seen a steady rise in graduation rates over the past 15 years, driven mainly by low-income and minority students, which is a COVID-19 Is most likely to be affected by.

Children in another group who suffer the brunt of coronovirus-related closure experience homelessness.

Barbara Duffield, executive director of Schoolhouse Connection, has focused on being homeless through education, which is very significant for children and youth who are homeless.

“Education is the only way out of poverty,” she said, claiming that the lack of a high school degree or GED is the biggest risk factor associated with young adult homeless.

“With the closure of the school buildings, children and youth who were homeless had lost that stability and security,” Duffeld continued.

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In January, the US Department of Education listed 1.5 million schoolchildren as homeless. A survey conducted by Schoolhouse Connection found that this fall – amid epidemic school closures, shrinking capacity in homeless shelters, and high family mobility – more than 423,000 have fallen from the school radar.

“We don’t think we’ve solved homelessness during the economic crisis and during the epidemic,” Duffield said of the 28% drop in homeless students. “The reactions of school districts are that the decline in numbers is due to the challenges they identify.”

In fact, it is more than likely that the number of homeless schoolchildren has increased compared to last year.

While there are no data yet to explain how this phenomenon of students discharged from school will affect graduation rates, both Duffield and Balfanz fear that the long-term consequences will be fewer children with high school degrees.

“It’s really serious,” Balfanaz said. “If you don’t have a high school diploma then there’s really no work to support the family.”

Despite being successful in many US schools, children remain at home in some of the largest school districts, including New York and California.

“Efforts should be made to bring them back as soon as possible, even if it is only for a month,” urged Balfanaz. “That place for kids to go back to school, just to reconnect is so important.”

Ben Oakley
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