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Oakland Program Invests in Mobile Classroom for Homeless Students

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The lime-green RV with its stretched-out awnings looks like a festive food truck. But inside, it has all the necessities of a preschool classroom on wheels.  (Gina Castro/KQED)

Here are the morning’s top stories on Thursday, June 27, 2024:

LA County Votes Unanimously to Forgive Medical Debts

Supervisor Hahn’s office estimates the program’s $5 million dollar investment will help 150-thousand residents and wipe $500 million dollars in debt.
The county will partner with a national organization that buys the debt for pennies on the dollar before canceling it. In addition to identifying funding, the approved motion allows the Department of Public Health to enter into an agreement with Undue Medical Debt to design and execute the pilot program. Details regarding the pilot program, partnerships with the hospital association and other key stakeholders, and the timeline will be worked out and announced in the coming months.
Details are still being worked out about who will be eligible and when the program will start.

Wage Increase for California Healthcare Workers Delayed

Under the new budget deal, workers who have not yet received their pay raise can expect it by mid-October. That’s as long as the state’s fiscal situation improves or if the state is able to secure additional federal funding.
If the money doesn’t come through, health workers will have to wait until Jan. 1 for their wage increases.
Originally, the new minimum wage law for health workers mandated that employers begin raising wages by June 1. Newsom asked for a delay because of the state’s budget deficit.

Oakland Program Invests in Mobile Classroom for Homeless Students

Mobile classrooms are increasingly being deployed in places short on accessible and affordable preschools. Since launching in November, this preschool on wheels has been going to homeless shelters and city parks in Oakland, in an effort to keep more children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which serve children from lower-income families. Programs like Head Start offer a range of support for unhoused families, from free diapers to access to educators who are trained in caring for children affected by trauma.
Previously, many children weren’t showing up consistently or on time, and a significant number inevitably dropped out, particularly those who didn’t have a stable place to live.
This most recent school year, 78 out 423 Oakland families – or more than 18% – who qualified for Head Start, experienced homelessness, Oakland’s $530,000 investment in its mobile classroom is helping the city meet the growing demand for Head Start. There are more than 400 families on the waitlist for the program, according to the city’s Head Start program director, who said the program has wrestled with finding enough workers and facilities.


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