UCLA map reveals student homelessness

March 16, 2020
A new interactive map from the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools reflects a widespread student homelessness crisis that affects more than 200,000 students in California. The website “We See You: Shining a Spotlight on Students Experiencing Homelessness in California” shows that students experience homelessness across all 58 of California’s counties, affecting both rural and urban areas. The map, which derives its data from the California Department of Education’s DataQuest for the 2017-18 school year, displays the number of homeless students in each county. Homeless students include those who are sharing housing, students living in motels, cars, trailers or abandoned buildings, and migratory children living in similar situations as these. The map also reveals achievement, discipline, and graduation rate gaps between students experiencing homelessness and their housed peers. There also exist gaps for Black and Latinx students, whose rates of homelessness are greater than students in other racial groups. “For many students, homelessness is a perfect storm that exacerbates the existing inequities and barriers they already face,” according to a release. Even though the McKinney-Vento Act stipulates that children experiencing homelessness receive the same free and appropriate public education, homeless students in California may not be receiving the support they need. A state audit released late last year said schools are undercounting homeless students. The map breaks down the counties with the most students experiencing homelessness using data from the 2018-19 school year:

Los Angeles — 54,871 students
Orange — 25,418 students
San Bernardino — 23,015 students
San Diego — 15,952 students
Riverside — 15,510 students
Monterey — 8,050 students
Santa Barbara — 7,466 students
Sacramento — 7,435 students
Ventura — 4,768 students
Kern — 3,580 students
The Center is slated to release a full report and recommendations on student homelessness this spring.

© 2020 Association of California School Administrators