PA homeless students at highest level ever

Posted by People’s Emergency Center on March 26, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released a report on its education programs for children and youth experiencing homelessness. A summary of the report by the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) is available here.

Key highlights include:

  • Pennsylvania has identified its highest number ever of children and youth who experienced homeless: 27,724
  • The School District of Philadelphia is having difficulties identifying high school students, especially seniors. This difficulty no doubt leads to more students not graduating on time.
  • Students who experience homelessness do not achieve academically on standardized testing as well as their peers. This data has been consistent for many years, which calls into question about how the Department of Education is supporting these students.
  • Philadelphia has the highest number of children under age 5 compared to the other regions in the state.

PEC will use this document to advocate for a number of issues, including:

  • Urging Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation to increase funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth and the Education for Children and Youth programs, and for a state proposal that will mandate that the PA Department of Education implement federal law to increase supports for students who are experiencing homelessness.
  • Urging the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning to improve its mandated performance on increasing access to high quality early learning programs to young children (ages 0-5) experiencing homelessness.

For more information, email Joe Willard at

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