Homeless Students Left Behind
There is "a growing controversy in suburban schools over homeless children being turned away. Advocates say suburban school districts are unaccustomed to dealing with the typically urban issue and unaware of state and federal laws that guarantee access to education." Officials in District 215, located in the Chicago suburbs, "said they are besieged by students from the Chicago public school system who are lying about their housing to get into their schools....The Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act and the federal No Child Left Behind program require school officials to enroll a student even if they doubt a claim of homelessness. A class-action lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education established a comprehensive homeless-student program in the city in 1996. But reforms brought about by the legislation and the lawsuit have failed to reach the suburbs, advocates say. In addition "thousands of families have been seeking a way out of failing Chicago Public Schools. Citywide, an estimated 240,000 students qualified for transfers because their schools failed to meet federal standards."
Thanks to Connie Chung