CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The head of West Virginia’s school system says he didn’t mean to downplay the seriousness of the rising number of homeless students in the state.
Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine issued a statement Friday saying he “in no way intended to convey that the data was not significant” at an education board meeting earlier this week.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail on Thursday reported Paine said it’s “not a significant increase” that the number of homeless students has risen 17% in the last two years to 10,522 kids. The newspaper first reported the figure last month.
Paine’s statement contains an apology but says his comments were taken out of context. He also pointed to problems such as poverty rates among students and the number of children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.