Cleveland schools see spike in homeless kids

CLEVELAND-The city has poverty, a troubled education system, too little opportunity, an epidemic of home foreclosures, crumbling city infrastructure, and now a 43-percent jump in homeless children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. According to an editorial in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the city schools now serve 2,200 children who are homeless and there's a significant risk that these numbers will get larger as the home foreclosure crisis continues to spread (see here).

In the meantime, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports Ohio has slipped from 28th to 30th among states in the well-being of its children (see here). The report from the foundation's Kids Count program is for the 2005-2006 period and indicates that 8.7 percent of all babies born in the state were low birth-weight children in 2005; that's up slightly from 2004. Infant mortality was 8.3 per thousand in 2005, up from 7.7 per thousand in 2004, while child deaths remained steady at 20 per 100,000, and teen deaths declined from 64 to 61 per 100,000. In 2006, 34 percent of children were living in a home where no parent had steady, year-around employment, the same level as in 2005; 19 percent of the state's children lived in poverty in 2006, also unchanged from 2005, and 33 percent lived in single-parent homes in 2006, up a percentage point from 2005.

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