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Let Her Learn: Stopping School Pushout for Girls Who Are Homeless

The United States has more homeless students than ever before—more than double the population from a decade ago. In the National Women’s Law Center’s 2017 Let Her Learn Survey (“Let Her Learn Survey”), 11 percent of all girls ages 14-18 reported experiencing homelessness, and these rates were even higher for Black girls (19 percent) and LGBT girls (18 percent). While there are large data gaps for this population of students, the limited data available show that homeless youth experience high rates of trauma and other physical, mental and emotional problems that affect their ability to attend and succeed in school. In addition, girls who are homeless have higher rates of teen pregnancy. Policymakers, educators, and communities can and should do more to help this extremely vulnerable population. This report presents the available data on homeless youth, examines the impact homelessness has on students’ education, and offers recommendations to address the barriers these students face to succeeding in school.