Today the Oregon Department of Education announced that last school year over 20,000 children experiencing homelessness attended public school in Oregon. That any child is homeless is evidence of a moral crisis is our state. As a long-time advocate on these issues, I commend our state officials and local school districts for working to assist these children. All the evidence points to the reality that getting kids who are homeless into public schools benefits them in many tangible ways. Yet at the same time we are failing as a state and nation to deal with the reality of growing homelessness and poverty. These numbers provide more evidence why Congress needs to pass President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act. At the same time, Oregon leaders need to take family homelessness more seriously and dedicate additional resources during a difficult economic period to assist children struggling to learn while living in shelters, motels, camps, and cars. We can do better.
- Rev. Chuck Currie