Unstable housing conditions marked by overcrowding, disrepair, and lack of affordability and safety force many low-income families to move often. There is strong evidence of a correlation between frequent residential displacement and poor educational outcomes such as grade retention, lower high school graduation rates, and lower knowledge acquisition over time. Equally troubling are the health problems these children face. Brown School assistant professor Molly Metzger and associate professor Patrick Fowler, and University of Missouri – St. Louis’s E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor Todd Swanstrom, teamed up to co-author Hypermobility and Education: The Case of St. Louis. According to the report, poor neighborhoods, and particularly communities of color, are more likely to face the constant, disruptive patterns of residential “churning.” These patterns present serious, fundamental challenges for the children experiencing them, as well as the schools that serve those children.
Bouncing Between Homes is the first in a series of three policy briefs that focus on child well-being and educational outcomes.