SCOE lands grant to help homeless students – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A little help is on the way for Solano County’s homeless students.

The County Office of Education has been awarded a grant of nearly $38,000 by the California Department of Education to aid homeless students. Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Henderson made the announcement in a press release late last week.

She said training will be offered to local school districts to increase awareness among school staff countywide and to make sure consistent, effective practices regarding the identification of homeless students and knowledge about the kinds of resources available to meet their needs.

Homeless public school students are defined under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a federal law originally passed in 1987 and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2016. The purpose of the act is to guarantee that homeless students have the same access to education as other students.

Source: SCOE lands grant to help homeless students

Solano County Office of Education receives homeless grant – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A state grant will support training to school district staffs about how to better identify and meet the needs of homeless students in Solano County.

The county Office of Education announced Thursday it had received the $37,638 grant from the state Department of Education.

“Supporting homeless students is a priority for all educators in our school districts, and, through this grant, the Solano County Office of Education will be able to continue supporting schools in their efforts to identify all homeless youth and provide them with the services they need,” Superintendent Estrella-Henderson commented.

Source: Solano County Office of Education receives homeless grant

Response to grand jury report on homeless youth wins Fairfield-Suisun schools OK – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Homeless youth are accurately counted, the Fairfield-Suisun School District says in a response to the 2016-17 Solano County grand jury report that stated the number of homeless students in the district nearly doubled in one year when almost 500 more youths were identified.

School district trustees meeting Thursday approved the response by Superintendent Kris Corey.

Trustees made no comments before voting to approve the response.The grand jury, in its report released June 16, said school districts in the county presented conflicting statistics in reporting the number of homeless youth and recommended all data be verifiable.

Source: Response to grand jury report on homeless youth wins Fairfield-Suisun schools OK

Fairfield-Suisun USD responds to grand jury finding on homeless students – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders on Thursday will face a relatively light agenda, except for item 14, a review and possible approval of Superintendent Kris Corey’s draft letter to the Solano County Grand Jury report, “Educational Rights of Solano County Homeless Children and Youth.”

Corey’s letter, addressed to Judge Robert C. Fracchia, takes issue with some of the report’s findings and concurs with others. It also clarifies and informs several grand jury recommendations.

She partly disagreed with the first finding, about whether district officials offered “conflicting statistics” in reporting the number of homeless children in the sprawling district, the county’s largest, with more than 21,500 students in more than two dozen campuses.

And she agreed with two recommendations, that reporting data be “accurate and verifiable” and that the district (and others countywide) find “more effective ways” of identifying homeless students.

via: Fairfield-Suisun USD responds to grand jury finding on homeless students

School district says doubled homeless youth count is correct – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Homeless youth are accurately counted, the Fairfield-Suisun School District says in a draft response to the 2016-17 Solano County Grand Jury Report that stated the number of homeless students in the district nearly doubled in one year when almost 500 more youths were identified.

School district trustees meeting Thursday take up the draft response by Superintendent Kris Corey.

The grand jury, in its report released June 16, said school districts in the county presented conflicting statistics in reporting the number of homeless youth and recommended all data be verifiable.

Source: School district says doubled homeless youth count in grand jury report is correct

SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The number of homeless public school students in Solano County has fluctuated in the past four years, from a record 2,200 in 2013 to 1,425 in 2015 to 2,080 in 2016 to 1,545 in 2017, and Vacaville-area districts this past year, reflecting county trends, tracked decidedly decreased numbers, the county Office of Education reported Wednesday.

Districts with fewer numbers from the most recent reporting period, ending June 30, include Vacaville, with 197, down from 237 in 2016; Travis Unified, with 91, a sizable drop from 264; and Fairfield-Suisun Unified, Solano’s largest district with more than 21,500 students, somewhat surprisingly with 687, down from 950.

Source: SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017

Solano County Office of Education sponsors backpack drive for county’s homeless, foster youth – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Can you Stuff the Bus?

During the past year Solano County Office of Education officials identified nearly 1,500 homeless students and nearly 500 foster youth.

As defined under a federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, a homeless youth may be unaccompanied and “couch-surfing” from home to home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems.

Foster youth — that is, any child who has been removed from the custody of a parent or parents or a guardian or guardians by Juvenile Court — may live with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

Can you help Stuff the Bus? – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Can you help a backpack campaign for homeless and foster youth called Stuff the Bus?

During the past year, Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) officials identified nearly 1,500 homeless students and nearly 500 foster youths.

As defined under a federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, a homeless youth may be unaccompanied and “couch-surfing” from home to home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems.

Foster youth — that is, any child who has been removed from the custody of a parent or parents or a guardian or guardians by Juvenile Court — may live with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

Source: Can you help Stuff the Bus? The Reporter

District 2 hopefuls differ on children’s tax measure – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

An emotional Monica Brown questioned why there is even a need to pass additional taxes to support children’s services, but because she believes the need is great, she would support a proposal for a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.

Her 2nd District opponent, Mike Ioakimedes, said he would likely support the initiative, but he called it another “Band-Aid measure,” and said real change will only come with an overhaul of the tax system.

“It is incomprehensible that in 2016 we have to take votes to take care of our kids,” said Brown, who broke down in tears when discussing the proposed Solano Fund for Children. “What kind of society are we that we don’t take care of our children?”

Source: District 2 hopefuls differ on children’s tax measure

County will help children’s group craft ballot measure – The Reporter

By Todd R. Hansen

The Board of Supervisors faced a full room of advocates imploring that it was time to invest in Solano’s children.

“Is there any reason you won’t support us?” the board was asked by four children in a rehearsed plea to support a ballot measure that, as proposed, would raise the sales tax 25 cents over the next 10 years.

Suisun City Vice Mayor Lori Wilson said the kind of services that the measure would support gave her hope and a chance at a productive life. In an emotional testimonial, she described a childhood of homelessness and abuse.

Source: County will help children’s group craft ballot measure

County homeless student numbers decline overall – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Somewhat surprisingly, Fairfield-Suisun, Solano’s largest district with nearly 22,000 students, reported 492 homeless students, down from 785 in January; and Vallejo City Unified, with 139, down from 165. Notably, two years ago, Fairfield-Suisun tracked more than 1,100 and Vallejo City nearly 400, accounting for well more than half of the county’s homeless students. At that time, the county numbers reflected nationwide trends of highest-ever numbers of homeless students, at 1.2 million, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

Benicia Unified reported 50 homeless students at the end of the last academic year, down from 59 in January; and Rio Vista reported 52, down from 109.

via County homeless student numbers decline overall.

States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource

By Susan Frey

The U.S. Congress may soon be following California’s lead in requiring states to provide data on the academic progress of all homeless and foster youth and provide additional resources to those students.

A bill amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to include homeless and foster youth as two new subgroups of students has passed the U.S. Senate, and two similar bills are being considered by the House of Representatives. Under the current version of the ESEA, known as No Child Left Behind, student subgroups are based on race and ethnicity, English learner status and disability.

“Too many students in our classrooms are worried about where they will sleep that night, where their next meal will come from, or who they can turn to if they need help,” said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., who introduced a homeless and foster youth bill in the House with Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

via States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource.

Homeless students get new attention in school accountability plans | EdSource

By Sarah Tully

School districts must spell out how they will help the state’s 310,000 homeless students and make goals for their progress under a new law that may be the first of its kind nationwide.

Gov. Jerry Brown approved the change to California’s accountability system last month when he signed the catch-all “trailer bill” that enacts the state budget details into law, but also includes issues not addressed in other bills.

Homeless students now must be included specifically in school districts’ Local Control and Accountability Plans, or LCAPs, to show how their needs are being met. Districts then must track test scores and other measures of progress, which the state will also monitor.

One national advocate for homeless student issues said California is the first state she knows of where homeless students are designated in accountability systems.

via Homeless students get new attention in school accountability plans | EdSource.

Middle and High School Student FOOD PANTRY at Fairfield PAL | Suisun City, CA Patch

By Susan C. Schena

The Fairfield Police Activities League’s (PAL) Community Service Club invites local middle and high school students to visit their Teen’s-Only Food Pantry on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

The next food pantry will be open on Friday, July 24, 2015.

The pantry offers basic staples and occasionally fresh fruit and vegetables for students. Each student may fill a box or bag to take with them at no cost. Members of the TACTS club host cooking demonstrations to teach students how to make the most of items available in the pantry. Past demonstrations have featured how to make black bean burgers, herbed corn, cooking with powdered milk (pineapple whips!), and more.

via Middle and High School Student FOOD PANTRY at Fairfield PAL | Suisun City, CA Patch.

Solano agencies team up to help homeless students – The Reporter

During the last school year, Solano County schools have identified nearly 2,000 homeless students and nearly 500 foster students, county officials said and now a group of agencies is teaming up to help them with school supplies.

Homeless youth may be unaccompanied and couch surfing from home-to-home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems. Foster youth may reside with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

To assist the foster and homeless youth of Solano County, the Solano County Office of Education, Educational Partnership Foundation of Solano, Sutter Medical Group, Sutter Solano Medical Center and Wednesday Club of Suisun are supporting the regional Stuff the Bus program.

via Solano agencies team up to help homeless students.

More Homeless Children Would Qualify for Support Under Bill – Education Week

By Evie Blad

Advocates for poor children have renewed efforts to expand the definition of homelessness used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development so that youth considered homeless by other federal agencies can qualify for federal housing assistance that is currently off limits to them.

Organizations are pushing for passage of the Homeless Children and Youth Act, reintroduced Tuesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. A variety of child welfare organizations also supported the bill when it was introduced last year.

via More Homeless Children Would Qualify for Support Under Bill – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Enrollment of Homeless Students Hits New Record in U.S. Schools – Education Week

By Evie Blad

There were a record 1,258,182 homeless students enrolled in American public schools during the 2012-13 school year, a nearly 8 percent increase from the previous year’s levels, new U.S. Department of Education data released this week show.

Homelessness in schools has increased dramatically in recent years, children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children noted in a news release.

“The new data means that a record number of kids in our schools and communities are spending restless nights in bed-bug infested motels and falling more behind in school by the day because they’re too tired and hungry to concentrate,” First Focus President Bruce Lesley said in a statement.

via Enrollment of Homeless Students Hits New Record in U.S. Schools – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Program collects needed school items for homeless students – The Reporter

Vacaville Reporter Posted:

In the course of the past school year, Solano County schools have identified more than 1,400 homeless students in the community, according to Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, chief executive officer of Travis Credit Union.

“Due to the loss of housing and financial problems, these young people may be living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends,” she said.

To assist the homeless youth of Solano County, Travis Credit Union has partnered with the Solano County Office of Education, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and Educational Partnership of Solano in support of the regional Stuff the Bus Campaign. Donations will help stuff the bus with school supplies to benefit Solano County’s homeless children as they prepare for the coming school year.

via Program collects needed school items for homeless students – The Reporter.

Holly Valentine: Stuff the Bus campaign seeking school supplies – The Reporter

By Holly Valentine

It may be hard to believe, but summer vacation is halfway over. Back-to-school sales are under way and parents are counting down the days until the ring of the first school bell, signifying the start of the 2013-14 school year.

For our local homeless youth, a regional Stuff the Bus campaign is under way to help provide them with greatly needed back-to-school supplies.

via Holly Valentine: Stuff the Bus campaign seeking school supplies – The Reporter.

Solano educators seek supplies for homeless students – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes Times-Herald staff writer/

Solano education officials are soliciting donations of backpacks and school supplies this month to benefit the county’s neediest students.

About 1,500 students in Solano County were homeless as of January, said Becky Cruz, program manager of the Solano County Office of Education Foster and Homeless Youth Services.

More could have become homeless since then, Cruz said.

Solano educators seek supplies for homeless students – Vallejo Times Herald.