The cost of higher tuition in America’s higher learning institutions is actually causing a more dramatic consequence on many of our country’s college students… more and more university students are going to bed hungry or are actually homeless.
Tag Archives: education
“. . . 1 in 45 children experience homelessness in the U.S. each year. That’s over 1.6 million children. While homeless, these youth experience high rates of acute and chronic health problems. The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences also has profound effects on their development and ability to learn.”
Over a million homeless children in the U.S. (and countless who have not been included in homeless counts) continue to experience “hard-knock” lives. They don’t need a billionaire, like Oliver Warbucks to save them. They need us to collectively unmask hidden issues and create tangible solutions that prevent and end their homelessness. It is not “their” problem to fix. It is all of ours.
A third of our nation’s children reside in homes defined as poor, where the household income is below 60% of the national median income for 2008, or $31,000. In other countries, this annual income is a fortune, but in this country, a family that survives on $31,000 per year places their children on a pathway to adult poverty, if not homelessness.
These broken women on our streets are signs of our broken society. Retiring to our streets should not be allowed.
Unfortunately, 1.1 million American school children call homeless shelters, vehicles on the streets, and even the streets, home. They certainly won’t be bringing apples to their teachers. The barriers that homelessness imposes upon school kids are significant.
Measurements are often given meaning relative to thresholds. Someone is housed or unhoused, poor or not poor, by some definition. Yet these thresholds are arbitrary, and open to debate and manipulation. While one might think there would be agreement on what homeless means, especially since it is a word that almost defines itself, there is considerable argument over its definition with significant policy consequences.
As the social sector struggles to measure its impact and make the case that real progress is being made, the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) might have found the easiest and most fool proof way of increasing graduation rates; lower graduation standards. The LAUSD is facing a dropout crisis, and like many social sector organizations, whether government or non-profit, is feeling the pressure to improve outcomes based on a set of measurable indicators. For schools, a fairly important indicator is graduating students.
Some Capitol Hill staffers and other interested parties, including yours truly, got an earful on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from experts who know it well — five current and former “welfare mothers.”
As I’ve mentioned before, TANF is overdue for reauthorization, i.e., a thoroughgoing review and revision of the law that allows the federal government to spend money on the program and establishes its basic rules.
When you walk into your dorm room for the first time as a college student, or onto campus for your inaugural class, you feel like you are crossing the threshold of an exciting new future.
Hanging out in the student union all night, heading back to your dorm or apartment at any hour, and writing dissertations on real life issues that you are passionate about are central parts of the college experience. The freedom, the understanding that you are building a foundation for an amazing career is at the core of higher education.
Everything we know about the job market tells us that a college degree is a passport to employment that provides a decent wage, plus benefits like paid leave, health insurance and a retirement plan.
That doesn’t mean everyone with a college degree will get a well paying job. It does, however, mean that most without a college education won’t.