Nearly 70% of homeless students in Los Angeles Unified chronically absent last year

Jennifer Kottke has worked with LAUSD homeless and foster care youth for more than 20 years — but she has never seen chronic absenteeism among these students become the crisis it did  during the pandemic. 

While nearly half of all LAUSD students were chronically absent during most of the the 2021-22 school year, the numbers among homeless and foster care youth are staggering: Nearly 70% of homeless LAUSD students, and nearly 60% of students in foster care were chronically absent during the last school year, according to school system data. 

The statistics, provided by LAUSD, covered September 2021 to mid-March of 2022. The two groups made up the highest percentage of chronically absent students.  

“The numbers are alarming,” said Jennifer Kottke, coordinator of homeless education at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. “These families are already struggling with basic stability … Now they have to contend with all kinds of pandemic-related problems.”Click here to read more: