Over Half of California Students are High-Need

High-Need Students in California, 2019

In California, 63% of students were considered high-need in 2019, meaning they were eligible for free or reduced price school meals, were English Learners, or were foster youth. School districts varied widely in the percentage of students with high-need, from less than 3% to more than 99% among districts with data. Looking further into understanding high-needs students, more than 59% of California school children – over 3.5 million students – were eligible for free or reduced price school meals (FRPM) in 2020, up from 51% in 2007. Not only are students eligible for FRPM based on family income, but also if they participate in the CalFresh or CalWORKS programs, are eligible for the Migrant Education Program, are homeless, or are foster youth.

The indicator describing high-need students is a part of a new topic on kidsdata.org, Student Demographics. The new topic was created to celebrate student diversity in California and increase our understanding of diversity in terms of race/ethnicity, family economics, and more. Student demographic trends are useful for assessing needs and planning school and community services, and ultimately, they play an important role in informing policies and practices that address intransigent inequities. The topic, Student Demographics, combines relevant indicators previously under other topics as well as two new indicators: high-need students and students eligible for the migrant education program.

Student Demographics Resource

Getting Down to Facts II describes the challenges and the promising efforts to achieving California’s vision of providing an equitable public education.

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about Student Demographics and Characteristics of Children with Special Needs. See links to the latest here.

Posted by kidsdata.org

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