05-20-2018  10:57 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Company in Cuba plane crash had received safety complaints

HAVANA (AP) — The Mexican charter company whose 39-year-old plane crashed in Havana had been the subject of...

Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after publicly setting...

Iran says EU political support not enough, urges investment

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that the country's foreign minister has urged the European...

The Latest: Maduro's challengers criticize 'red points'

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):1:01...

Sheridan Smalley Special to The Skanner News

The roster of homeless students in Washington State's  K-12 schools reached a whopping 27,390 during the 2011-12 school year, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

That's up almost 5 percent from the year before and more than 46 percent from 2007-08, when the recession first slammed area families.

"It's heartbreaking," said Nathan Olson, state schools communications manager. "One student homeless is heartbreaking, 27,000 is heartbreaking times 27,000."

The latest number is based on reports of school-district representatives, who submit the number of students who are homeless in their districts to the superintendent's office.

The higher figure stems partly from better reporting, Olson said, because the superintendent's office is working to increase awareness of the issue and connect families to available services.

In recent years, the economic downturn has continued to take its toll.

According to the federal Stewart B. McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, students are considered homeless if they "lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence." This includes a broad array of living arrangements: motels, hotels, shelters, cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, trailer parks, bus or train stations, substandard housing or any other "public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings."

"It's really a poverty issue more than anything," said Dinah Ladd, who works on the issue for Seattle Public Schools.

She says the ways poverty impacts kids' lives are as varied as the number of students—the housing market, lost jobs, sudden illness, greater severity of needs and lack of shelters are all contributing factors. Substance abuse or mental-health factors might play a role. Some are chronically homeless, Ladd said, whereas others are "just having a hard time."

Some students "double up," meaning they share the housing of others due to economic reasons. Many are transient.

Limited funding and cuts to state programs exacerbate the issue, Ladd said.

According to the superintendent's office, the federal government allocates about $950,000 annually to Washington state to fund resources and programs serving students who are homeless. Those funds are distributed to the various local education agencies through grants.

"We could use more," Olson said, "but it is something."

Of the K-12 students comprising the 2011-12 figure, middle- and high-school students are hardest hit, Ladd said.

"It's becoming more common for families to be homeless as opposed to what people think of as homeless," Ladd said. "It's really families, people with children, [with a] mom and dad, middle-class people slowly finding themselves in that predicament."

The McKinney-Vento Act mandates that students who are homeless have equal opportunity to the same educational opportunities as other students, providing transportation if necessary to keep students at their school of origin and offering them the proper resources to actively stay in school.

Outside of the classroom, students who are homeless face difficult lives.

"Some kids don't know what they're going to eat, where they're going to be," Ladd said. "They have a very uncertain future even with this ability of trying to keep them stable."

According to a 2008 report from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and First Focus, children and youth who are homeless are more likely to experience physical, mental and developmental health problems than other children. They are more likely to perform poorly in school, leading to reduced chances of graduation.

While educational measures like McKinney-Vento do help, Ladd said it's not enough to overcome the issue.

"We can do our piece in school with the educational [part], but some of that support needs to come from things that happen after school," Ladd said.

Namely, the lasting stigma against those who are homeless inhibits improvement.

"One thing that I think keeps the situation bad is that there's a lot of discrimination against homeless people," said David Delgado, a case manager at Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets in Seattle.

In King County, the Committee to End Homelessness is one group working to end such stigmatization and bring awareness to the problem.

The committee maintains a "Youth and Young Adult Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness" as well as hosts advocacy events and conversations about homelessness.

"I think people are misguided," Ladd said. She cited a misconception that homeless people have to look a certain way, be a certain way, be a certain color.

"They can be educated, they can be going to school."

 

Sheridan Smalley is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory

 

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