Charter schools in Los Angeles County serve over 252,000 students. In the 2018-2019 school year, 4,429 of those students were identified as experiencing homelessness. This brief report offers an analysis of countywide data on charter school students experiencing homelessness.
- In LA County charter schools, the 5-year cohort graduation rates for charter school students experiencing homelessness is 45%, approximately 35 percentage points lower than the graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness in non-charter, public schools.
- 40% of high school students experiencing homelessness in LA county charter schools were chronically absent and missed 18 or more instructional days in the 2018-19 school year. Moreover, one out of every two Black high school students experiencing homelessness were chronically absent.
- The homeless liaison is the most important role in supporting students experiencing homelessness as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. In LA County charter schools, this role is often designated to network leadership and school administrators.
- Homelessness experts assert that typically 10% of economically disadvantaged students experience homelessness. Employing a 10% benchmark in LA county charter schools suggests that in 2018-2019 potentially 6,463 students experiencing homelessness were not identified or served.
- To ensure that students experiencing homelessness are identified and supported in charter schools, it is critical that schools implement student audits twice a year using a 10% benchmark to identify potential undercounting. Further, schools must designate a homeless liaison capable of fully executing the federal mandates of the position and serving as head of a larger student support team.