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“Here’s a stunning statistic: 14.3 percent of our students are classified as homeless. We have a technical definition [of homelessness, to include] living in a motel or hotel, living in a car, and multiple families living under one roof ​— ​and we’re not talking about a five-bedroom home; we’re talking about a one-bedroom apartment. I’ve also learned that Santa Barbara County has the highest rate of [student] homelessness of the 58 counties in the state. For those of us who wake up and look at the mountains or out across the ocean, we view Santa Barbara as this idyllic place. But for a lot of our students, it’s not. They have to work hard every day to get to school, to survive economically. And I want you to realize that that’s who comes to our classrooms ​— ​students who are learning English, students with housing challenges ​— ​and now you overlay the immigration challenges many of our families face.”

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