State Audit Request of Student Homelessness Data
Assemblymember Ramos Joins Audit Request of Student Homelessness Data
Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Assemblymember James C. Ramos has joined with Assemblymembers David Chiu and Luz Rivas in requesting an audit of local school districts procedures to identify, provide services to, and support homeless students. The audit seeks to understand and remedy why roughly one quarter of all schools report zero students experiencing homelessness.
Federal and state laws require all local education agencies (LEAs), including charter schools, to identify homeless students, provide them with services, and report that data back to the government. Current data compiled by the California Department of Education shows that nearly 2,700 schools, out of 10,500, report zero students experiencing homelessness enrolled in their schools. Out of those 2,700, many are large high schools in high-cost urban areas.
The request for audit calls for a selection of three to five LEAs, including at least one each in a rural, suburban, and urban area and at least one in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in San Bernardino County. The selection should also include LEAs that report zero homeless students in the entire LEA or have large schools that report zero homeless students, as well as one LEA that has been successful in identifying and serving a high number of homeless students. The request also calls for the audit to examine on charter school reporting zero homeless students.
“As the Assemblymember representing the Inland Empire, I am eager to support Assemblymember Luz Rivas and David Chiu’s efforts in requesting this audit to gain valuable information about how our local educational agencies are providing and referring services to homeless youth,” said Assemblymember James C. Ramos.. “It’s important to review prior data and practices in order to learn where we are succeeding and where we can improve. With this audit, my hope is that we can provide educators and administrators with the proper tools to identify homeless youth and at-risk populations in their schools, connect them to services, and get them out of the cycle of homelessness.”
If approved, the audit will study barriers that schools face in identifying students experiencing homelessness, why those students are going unreported, and best practices to identifying and providing services to them.
The audit request will be heard by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) on March 6. Once approved by JLAC, the California State Auditor’s office will begin work on administering the audit.