OLYMPIA, Wash. - The number of homeless students continue to rise. State education officials say more than 27,000 students were reported as homeless in the 2011-12 school year.
That is up 5% from 2010-11 and up almost 47% from the beginning of the recession.
School districts say they blame the struggling job market, factories closing, and cuts in funding for programs that help prevent homelessness in Washington public schools.
Districts also say that better reporting and more awareness have led to more accurate numbers. According to the federal law on homeless students, a student is considered homeless if he or she does not have a fix, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
That includes living in a shelter, car, or any other kind of temporary housing.