Students Experiencing Homelessness Are Supposed to Get Extra Help. Here’s How California Can Do Better

Almost all children who experience housing insecurity also experience trauma because of the stress of their situation. California and the federal government recognize this, and require schools to provide these children with additional support.

But experts believe tens of thousands of California children experiencing homelessness fall through the cracks and receive little to no help from their schools.

Schools must help homeless students. Here’s what you should know

During the 2019-20 school year, close to 1.3 million children in the nation’s public schools were identified as homeless. But that figure may vastly underestimate the actual number. A Center for Public Integrity analysis found evidence that thousands of school districts are undercounting.

Experts who spoke with Public Integrity said that confusion surrounding the McKinney-Vento law and who qualifies as “doubled-up” can leave many students unidentified and not receiving the support they need in school.

The Specialist Squeeze: How to Fix the Shortage of Doctors in the Rural North

California’s rural north has significantly worse health care access than the rest of the state.

The barriers to treatment are even higher when residents try to access care from specialist physicians. When patients or families experience difficulties accessing needed medical care, it multiplies existing social needs, increasing patients’ risk of things like substance use, housing uncertainty and domestic violence.

California Elders Say They’re Misled When Enrolling in Medicare Plans. Here Are Some Solutions

Bonnie Burns was shocked into action the first time she learned that seniors were being coerced into Medicare Advantage plans that either didn’t suit their needs, misled them about costs, or lured them with benefits they wouldn’t actually receive.

A health care advocate for 40 years, Burns was outraged that a health insurance option intended to broaden coverage choices for California elders was instead being misused by unscrupulous marketers to seek profits.

Opinion: It’s Time to Fulfill Our Promise to Teachers, Students and Parents

I recently introduced Senate Bill 387 to help teachers and school-based staff receive training on how to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis.

Although teachers and school-based staff are not trained mental health professionals, they are in a unique position to support youth who need help. By equipping teachers with the training needed to recognize the signs of someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, we’ll help ensure students don’t slip through the cracks.

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