Kansas City Public Schools loses $150,000 for homeless students

KANSAS CITY - Kansas City Public Schools will no longer receive a $150,000 grant for homeless students.

The district has more than 1,000 students enrolled in its Students in Transition program, which assists children who aren't living in their home. 

District officials say the grant was taken away because the KCPS was not meeting enrollment requirements.  Since there weren't enough students to spend all the grant money in previous years, the grant is being redirected to other districts that meet the requirements, a district spokesman said.

Denise Johnson and her three young daughters make up one of the homeless families in KCPS. The girls attend Hartmon Elementary school.

Johnson currently gets uniforms, supplies, counseling and transportation from the Students in Transition program. She now worries the cut may change that for her or for future parents.

"They helped me but what about the next person that comes in that doesn't have that resource," Johnson said.  "A lot of families are going to feel the impact.  A lot of children are going to feel the impact."

District officials said the cut in funding will not impact the students in any way.

"Our transitional students face an uphill climb in an attempt to obtain a great education. Despite this recent setback, this school district will not abandon them," Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green said. "We will continue to provide the help they need and deserve."

The only change made by the district so far is in its staffing.  Three employees were let go, and the program will now be run by two case workers.

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