The Contra Costa Times reports a huge jump in homeless students in the county and region.
According to the federal government, any student currently living in a homeless shelter, motel, living with friends or family, or without permanent residence qualifies as homeless.
California’s homeless student population of preschool to 12th-graders grew from 178,000 to 288,000 between 2006 and 2009, an increase of more than 25 percent annually over the past two years.
“California’s increases were pretty phenomenal,” said Barbara Duffield, policy director of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. “I think the recession and the housing crisis have sort of had a double impact for states like California.”
Nationwide, the number of homeless students jumped 17 percent between 2006 and 2008, from 679,724 to nearly 800,000. Data for 2008-09 is still being collected, but is expected to climb because of high unemployment and the poor economy, Duffield said.
These numbers do not account for the countless students whose family may not admit to being homeless.