The Berkeley Unified School District Leaves Poor Students to Fend for Themselves

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act mandates that states and local school districts eliminate all barriers to homeless students enrollment, success and participation. In addition, local school districts must do outreach at shelters and wherever there are homeless students and families. But Berkeley High School doesn’t make adjustments for homeless students. For example, many students enrolled in math classes where graphing calculators are necessary failed because they do not have enough money to purchase one. Also, many teachers require the students to use the internet. Some students lack consistent housing, let alone access to a computer or the internet.

By not adjusting for these students, they perpetuate the racial and income inequalities of America. Only when threatened with possible loss of accreditation has Berkeley High explored the possibility of assisting some these students. To make matters worse, the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) is slashing funds for the McKinney-Vento families. Reducing the funding will have drastic and dramatic effects on students in BUSD eligible to receive services under the act. Many of these same kids are the homeless kids on the streets in Berkeley. These street kids are the result of failed social and economic policies.

Title: “Racism and classism in Berkeley streets and schools”

Author: Leo Stegman

Source: San Francisco Bay View, 10/20/2012

Student Researcher: Andy Berman, Sonoma State University

Faculty Evaluator: Eric Pape, West Valley College