Record number of homeless children enrolled in public schools, new data show

data

U.S. public schools are now enrolling a record number of homeless children and youth — over 1.1 million — with the largest populations in California, New York, Texas and Florida, new data from by the U.S. Department of Education show.

The news comes on the heels of a new study showing that a majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are poor for the  first time in at least four decades.

The new homeless statistics, for the 2011-12 school year, are 10 percent higher than the year before and 72 percent higher than before the recession. Still, the reported figure — 1,168,354 homeless students — is known to actually underestimate the number of homeless children across the United States.

Ten states showed increases over the previous year of 20 percent or more; the states that showed the largest jumps in the numbers of homeless students were:

North Dakota, 212 percent
Maine, 58 percent
North Carolina, 53 percent
Michigan, 42 percent
Wyoming, 40 percent
South Dakota, 35 percent
Vermont, 31 percent

Because of population size, it is no surprise that the most homeless students are in California, New York, Texas and Florida. The District of Columbia saw a 22 percent increase from 2010-11 to 2011-12; Maryland a 7 percent increase; and Virginia a 15 percent increase.

The new data are on the Web site of the National Center for Homeless Education, which serves as the Education Department’s technical assistance and information center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

An analysis of the new data reports on the standardized test scores of the homeless children. After citing a number of limitations on the data, it says:

In grades 3‐, 74 percent of the total number of homeless students enrolled in those grades in all LEAs took the state reading test in SY 2011‐2012 (381,678 out of 513,766). Of the number of all homeless students enrolled in grades 3‐8 in all LEAS taking the state reading test in SY 2011‐12, 51 percent (194,053 out of 381,678) met or exceeded proficiency standards in reading.

In high school (grades 9‐12), 16 percent of the total number of homeless students enrolled in those grades in all LEAS took the state reading test in SY 2011‐2012 (48,680 out of 297,150) Of the number of all homeless students enrolled in high school in all LEAs taking the state reading test in SY 2011‐12, 49 percent (23,964 out of 48,680) met or exceeded proficiency standards in reading.

And in math:

In grades 3‐8, 75 percent of the total number of homeless students enrolled in those grades in all LEAs took the state mathematics test in SY 2011‐2012 (383,568 out of 513,766). Of the number of all homeless students enrolled in grades 3‐8 in all LEAs taking the state mathematics test in SY 2011‐12, 48 percent (185,851 out of 383,568) met or exceeded proficiency standards in mathematics.

In high school (grades 9- 12), 17 percent of the total number of homeless students enrolled in those grades in all LEAs took the state mathematics test in SY 2011‐2012 (48,943 out of 297,150) Of the number of all homeless students enrolled in high school in all LEAs taking the state mathematics test in SY 2011‐12, 42 percent (20,566 out of 48,943) met or exceeded proficiency standards in mathematics.

Advocates for children and the homeless urged the federal government to take new steps to better protect homeless children and families.  Darla Bardine, policy director of the National Network for Youth, said in a statement:

Children and youth who are homeless suffer and this data confirms what the homeless youth field has been seeing on the ground, the number of homeless youth and families in need of housing and services has been increasing as local and state supports have decreased. Congress needs to act with urgency in scaling up the housing, care and support these children and youth need to succeed. 

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Most Read Local
Next Story
Valerie Strauss · October 24, 2013