Wichita homeless schoolchildren count exaggerated

When an institution needlessly exaggerates the severity of a situation, it diminishes the plight of the true problem.

That’s the case with USD 259, the Wichita public school district, when it reports that 1,200 Wichita schoolchildren are homeless.

As reported in the Wichita Eagle story 1,200 Wichita school kids are homeless, if you do a little arithmetic, the number of children that are in what any reasonable person would call a “homeless” situation is less than 500.

Of the 1,200 that the Wichita school district claims as homeless, 700 live with another family. They’re not homeless, at least in any meaningful sense of the word. A comment left to the Eagle story got it just right:

It is sad when children are in this situation, but I must protest the massive headline and small disclaimer above it. If you read the article, the true number of homeless kids is about 500. The feds and their counting guidelines … they’re all about creating victims and giving school districts another way to collect more federal funds for surrogate parenting. If a child stays with friends who have taken him/her in, that child is not homeless. It may not be ideal, but it may actually be a better situation than the one they’d be in with their real parent(s). As time passes and people forget the details in this article, all they will remember is the deceptive headline, and they will quote that number (1200) time and time again.

The comment writer is correct. This needless victim-creating diminishes the problem of the true homeless.


3 thoughts on “Wichita homeless schoolchildren count exaggerated”

  1. Yes, whenever you read an “Article” in the Eagle just remember it’s really “Opinion.” I’ve gotten so sick of their falsehoods, exagerrations, and lack of well-researched news that I’ve cancelled my subscription.

  2. They certainly are homeless if they don’t have their own home. Temporarily staying with friends is not a home.

  3. Under the definition mentioned in the Wichita Eagle opinion….oops, “news” article, a child living with relatives, including their grandparents is “homeless”. Rubbish. I have friends and neighbors who are grandparents raising a grandchild as well as adoptive parents who are also raising “homeless” children under this inflated definition.

    Under the USD 259 definition children in foster care are probably just as “homeless” too. This is just another left-wing effort to exaggerate a problem so government spending and programs can expand.

    A few weeks ago the eagle reported that the homeless “census” was conducted Jan. 28 in Wichita. They found mostly adult males who were homeless and the total number was a small fraction of the 1,200 students the eagle reported.

    I doubt that there was very much overlap between these two “homeless” list totals either. Naturally the liberal eagle and their editorial board has not noticed or commented upon this disparity.

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