New data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Homeless Education finds that the number of homeless students in Florida schools has reached a record high. The nearly 59,000 homeless students identified in the report for the 2012-2013 school year represents a 10 percent increase over the previous year and outpaces the national average increase of eight percent.
Overall, the report identified more than one million homeless students in K-12 classrooms across the country. While these students are eligible for education assistance through the public school system, most are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We’ll explore local and federal efforts to identify and address the needs of homeless students. How does homelessness affect student academic performance and what can local communities do to better address the needs of these students?