"This morning the Oregon Department of Education announced that during the last school year (2009-2010) that state public schools served over 19,000 children experiencing homelessness. Those numbers represent a 5.5% increase over the previous year and a 134% increase over the last seven years. That over 19,000 children were homeless in Oregon last year - and we know there were many more who did not enroll in school - shows that our state faces both an economic and a moral crisis.
So I ask: as the 2010 election campaign rages where are the politicians and how will they address growing poverty and homelessness, particularly the needs of homeless students? Where are their plans to substantially reduce poverty in Oregon? As usual, I hear little to nothing from the candidates of either major political party as this moral crisis continues to grow like an Oregon forest fire. How many more of our kids will be forced into poverty and homelessness before the politicians take notice and the public demands economic programs that lift people out of poverty? No one should be forced to live a third world life in a first world country."
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