State’s Rising Homeless Student Population Faces Challenges in School | California | California Watch
This fall, Makayla Vigil will be a sophomore at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico. For most of her school career, she made the honor roll. But last semester, after her family lost their apartment, she earned C’s and D’s.
“My grades did suffer a lot from just not caring,” said Vigil, 16. “Before, when I had good grades, I was thinking, ‘I want to impress my family.’ But then when you become homeless and you don’t really have anything, you just don’t care.”
California – hit particularly hard by the combination of a high cost of living, the housing crisis and a lack of jobs – has more homeless students than any other state in the nation. In 2009, nearly a third of all homeless students nationwide lived in California, according to the federal Department of Education.
And those students are struggling academically.