More students in Washington state are homeless
More than 26,000 students experienced homelessness in Washington state during the 2010-11 school year, a 19 percent increase from the previous year, according to data released last week by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Columbia Legal Services analyzed the data, and Katara Jordan, an attorney with the agency, said it was the single largest year-to-year increase CLS has seen since OSPI began collecting the data in 2007.
Columbia Legal Services collects the data through its Homeless Education Project, which works to improve the identification and education of homeless students.
More than 80 percent of the districts reporting to OSPI found homeless students in their schools. One in every
40 students in Washington’s public schools is homeless.
There are likely thousands more who have not been identified as homeless, Jordan said. The federal McKinney-Vento Act requires school districts to identify and serve homeless students.
In previous years, Asotin and Grays Harbor counties had the largest portion of homeless students. Most are considered “doubled up,” meaning they are living with friends or relatives.
Others live in shelters, outdoors or in hotels.
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