The city of St. Paul has been hit hard recently with questions abounding about both education and meeting the needs of the increasing amount of homeless students affected by the housing market slump.
The Star Tribune reports that recent board meetings have declared St. Paul's junior high education system "doomed" and in need of drastic change. According to recent statistics, the St. Paul school district looses over 200 out of its 5,000 students between seventh and eighth grade, a number that remains higher than enrollment loses in any other district.
In other related news, the Pioneer Press added that on top of enrollment loses, the St. Paul school district is also witnessing a jump in the number of students who are homeless. That number is attributed to both the economy and the slumping housing market.
Administrators are expecting the number of homeless students to top 2,000 by the end of year, a statistic that has never been seen before by officials or family help agencies in the area. The East Side Family Center has reported receiving 30 to 35 calls per day from families with problems paying their bills.
The problem is leaving the already taxed school district with even less money, as funding spent on transportation and aid to help their homeless students is not replaced by federal assistance.
St. Paul is not alone, however, as Minneapolis is seeing a rise in its student homelessness as well.
For now, it remains a problem linked to a struggling economy and families in distress.