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Student Homelessness Rises to Pre-Pandemic Levels

By Brett Guinan, Julien Lafortune

Nearly a quarter million K–12 students in California experienced homelessness at some point during the 2022–23 school year. After three years of declines, the state's homeless student population has returned to pre-COVID levels.

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Chronic Absenteeism in K–12 Schools Remains Troublingly High

By Emmanuel Prunty, Laura Hill

The rate of chronic absenteeism in California schools declined slightly during the 2022-23 school year but is still double what it was prior to the pandemic. Districts that have conducted student outreach in partnership with community organizations have had promising results in bringing down absenteeism.

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Learning Recovery Is Uneven for Urban and Rural School Districts

By Saayili Budhiraja, Thomas Pearson, Emmanuel Prunty, Niu Gao

Half of California's K–12 students are enrolled in urban or rural districts. Compared to the rest of the state, these districts have seen a slower pace of recovery from pandemic learning loss.

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2023 Year in Review

By Tani Cantil-Sakauye

President and CEO Tani Cantil-Sakauye reflects on how PPIC has contributed to the policy conversation this past year and highlights the importance of nonpartisan, actionable research in addressing key challenges facing our state.

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Wildfire Smoke Is a Threat to Children’s Health

By Shalini Mustala

The average number of days per year with heavy smoke in California's air has been rising, especially in the Central Valley, Sacramento region, and far north. This poses a particular health risk for children, who are more likely to be exposed to wildfire smoke and more susceptible to its effects.

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How Have California School Districts Used the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

By Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

The state's school districts have received about $859 million from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), which supports access to internet connectivity and digital devices. Most of these funds have gone to districts with large proportions of Black, Latino, or low-income students, and the ECF dollars have been used more for connectivity than for devices.

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Video: Tracking Progress in Community College Access and Success

By Vicki Hsieh

Four years ago, state lawmakers dramatically broadened access to key transfer-level courses at California’s community colleges. PPIC researcher Cesar Alesi Perez presents findings from a new report on what these reforms have meant for improving student outcomes.

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