BCPS Reports Drastic Rise in Homeless Students

The school system's homeless liaison said figures have increased 10-fold in the last ten years.

The number of homeless students enrolled in Baltimore County Public Schools is growing at an alarming rate.

There were about 300 homeless students countywide in 2001, and the figure has now g, said Mary Jo Slowey, the homeless liaison for the school system.

"It increased 10-fold in the last 10 years," she said.

Slowey noted that the figures took a turn for the worse following the 2008 economic collapse.

"Sadly, the number of students in need is growing," she said.

At a Thursday ceremony held at the school system's , the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce donated $1,500 to benefit the homeless students. Additionally, the chamber, and Northwest Savings Bank contributed truckloads of donated school supplies.

The chamber raised the funds during a shrimp feast and bull roast hosted in July.

"We have got to do something," said Laura Winpigler, representing both the chamber and Northwest Savings.

Winpigler, who organized the donation for the second year in a row, said she was first touched by the plight of homeless students after viewing reports about the issue on television.

"I cried," she said.

The chamber is leaving it up to the school system to determine how the funds should be spent.

Superintendent S. Dallas Dance said he has asked his staff to put together a proposal for the donation.

"With the economy being what it is—it does open our eyes to the economic needs of our students," Dance said.

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Joe August 30, 2012 at 08:00 PM
WOW!!! We used to only read this when a Republican was President. You mean Obama has not been good for the economy? That is not what we hear...
Tim August 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM
You honestly think Romney and the Tea Party will improve this? They'll make it worse by cutting anything resembling a social net on the down on their luck lower middle class and poor. Wouldn't want to cut military spending or raise the capital gains tax now would we? Nah...
JD1 August 31, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Not sure that there has actually been an increase. Because students now have to have proof of residency in order to be enrolled, it may just be that homeless kids are getting identified and documented. They were probably there before but the system just didn't have the documentation.
moe green August 31, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Why raise capital gains tax? It is my money. I earned th money to invest, I did the research on what company to invest in. I risked my capital. It is my money to spend as see fit. Not the government
JD1 August 31, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Come on moe - share the wealth like Tim! By the way Tim - what additional social nets do you need? Do you really think that Romney would cut these programs?
Mari August 31, 2012 at 02:00 AM
"With the economy being what it is..." Is that why the class sizes are increasing so much as Catonsville High? AP (advance placement, college freshman level) Biology c class has 40 students, other AP classes in Statistics, English, Psych, Economics, etc., have 33-37 students each. I have no idea how a teacher grades that many papers, tests, etc. Presumably these are motivated students who will pay attention in class and not be disruptive, but 40 students in a high school class with lots of lab work seems very high to me.
Mari August 31, 2012 at 02:02 AM
One more thing - if we had 300 homeless students in 2001 and have "over 2000" now, is that really a 10 fold increase? Wouldn't that be 300 times 10 equals 3,000, not "over 2,000"? Maybe this is a quibble, but why not say a 7 fold increase? Does a 10 fold increase really sound that much more important?
Chuck August 31, 2012 at 02:29 AM
What is the definition of "homeless" in BCPS ? Are these currently enrolled students whom by circumstance or misfortune lose their domicile in Baltimore County, or those who show up on BCPS doorstep from elsewhere ?
Joe August 31, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Tim, the question is not if "Romney and the Tea Party will improve this". The question is can we survive another 4 years of the same or worse than we are in now under Obama. That is the question. But YES indeed, Romney will do better come 1-21-2013. Look to the states that elected Repun Governors and the states with Demo Governors. Which is doing better? Illinois or Wisconsin? California or Virginia? The fear tactics you use of "cutting anything resembling a social net on the down on their luck lower middle class and poor" are not working any longer. The new media has awaken people from their LSM hypnosis. People are better informed today and even the "fact checkers" are in need of "fact checkers". Get used to saying President Romney.
Tim August 31, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Joe: California was a mess both under Democrat and Republican. Need I remind you the failures of the "Governator"? It's not fear tactics I speak of. It's reality. Right now, Republicans in Congress are freaking out over the idea of having to implement the 'draconian cuts/Sword of Damocles' on military spending. You know, because of that bi-partisan committee that was supposed to come up with a budget plan to reduce the deficit that completely failed. It's been made obvious where Republicans, if left in charge, will cut the government. It won't be in military, and they are Norquisted into ever raising or even reforming taxes. it's not my fault if folks can't pay attention to what's happening inside the Beltway. Again, it's not like I'm a massive Obama supporter either. He's made his own contributions to this mess. Mitt Romney though?
Joe August 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM
The "Governator" was not a republican by any stretch of the imagination. RINO. He had to deal with the overwhelmingly liberal legislature. The fear tactic Tim was, you stating falsely "cutting anything resembling a social net on the down on their luck lower middle class and poor" since you did not mention military spending in your comment at all. That is just not supportable. "Republicans, if left in charge, will cut the government." As they should. As they NEED to do. Borrowing 4o cents on the dollar is not sustainable. "and they are Norquisted into ever raising or even reforming taxes." Again not supported by the facts. Republicans have on numerous occasions talked about reforming the tax codes. They have plans. It is the democrats refusing to come up with a plan. Romney and Ryan have both spoken about doing just that this week. Yes, Romney is the man and you better get used to saying President Romney.
Joe August 31, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I will add Tim, Romney was my 3rd choice but it is what it is. America will not stand for a man in the WH who hates America and all it stands for.
Joe August 31, 2012 at 03:01 PM
"Dems Giving Away Tickets to Obama's Speech " This is how desperate they have become. http://dunwoody.patch.com/articles/dems-giving-away-tickets-to-obamas-speech-9af17d66?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
kathleen barker August 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Good question, Chuck. I like to know exactly what the guidelines are for classifying a student as homeless. That may sound picky and ridiculous, but it's always the starting place for a proper analysis.
Bryant August 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Some parents have figured out a way to get their kids into a certain school using the definition currently in place. Homeless does not mean you have no place to live.
No Name September 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Here's one example of "homeless": My sister lost her job and instead of making her struggle to pay the rent on her place, I offered to let her, and her child, move in with us. So they are living in our 4 bedroom home, but the school system considers her child "homeless" because this is not "their" home. As far as I'm concerned this is now their home, but "homeless" they are in the eyes of the government.
John T. September 01, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Agreed. But Tim uses the democrat talking points. Probably, Tim doesn't have anything at risk to have to worry about capital gains, so raising the CG tax is OK with him. It's class warfare at its finest, and the funny thing is the Dems in congress are as wealthy or more so then the Repubs. Beware of the rich guys that say their "fighting" for you. Mikulski, Cardin, O'Malley, and have been feeding at the public trough for decades and have done quite nicely for themselves as "public servants" at the expense of the poor and middle class. And how's that been working for us? Keep voting them in and you should expect the same results.
JD1 September 01, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I just can't believe that Obama, O'Malley and Jim Smith let this "dramatic rise" occur on their watch! Insensitive democrats - they should be ashamed! I am amazed that Grandma Mikulski and Uncle Sarbanes didn't step in and help all of these poor kids.
Zoobie September 03, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Balto. Co. has been educating Balto. City students for years. Now, to avoid getting caugt, they are Homeless.
Evets September 03, 2012 at 11:55 PM
No Name's example above is correct. If for some reason you are 'forced' to move out of your current home (loss of job, home damaged, divorce, death in the family, etc) and move in with a relative or friend, you are considered homeless. By this definition, I was homeless for a good part of my junior high and high school years when we lived with my grandfather and then my sister after the death of my father. Also, students are permitted to remain at the their 'home school' while homeless. So if you live in Dundalk, lose your home and move in with your brother's family in Towson, the county must provide transportation to get you to the school you were attending in Dundalk. Homeless students also have field trip fees and such waived. I am sure that the number of students who are homeless has increased due to economic conditions, but some of the increase is also due to a change in the definition of homeless.
Evets September 03, 2012 at 11:58 PM
More info: http://www.bcps.org/offices/sss/pdf/Trifold-Homeless-Children-in-Balto.pdf
Needaname September 07, 2012 at 09:17 PM
What ?! While I was engaged in a Jerry Springer Style Divorce, my son and I resided with my Parents in their home and I do not recall my child being inserted into the "Homeless' category. We did the proper paperwork and went through an in-home inspection complete with documentation that my bills, ect. where now addressed to my Parents home.
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Needaname December 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM
HOLY MOLEY - do not tell my son that. He would have had a fit...and I hope nobody tells their Children they are placed in that category.


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