U.S. Student Homelessness Reaches All-Time High

U.S. Student Homelessness Reaches All-Time High

Here is a scary number: 1,168,354.

That's the number of students in grades K-12 who were homeless during the 2011-2012 school year. The new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) are a record-high, and represent a 72% increase from before the start of the recession six years ago. 

The Southern Education Foundation's recent October report found that throughout the American South and West, over half of students are low-income, and over two-thirds are in Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico. 

While some children prepare for Halloween and map out the houses that give the best trick-or-treat candy, over 1 million children have no home to go to at all.

For obvious reasons, homelessness robs children of the tools needed to succeed in school such as a sheltered place to study. To combat this, the McKinney-Vento Act was passed in 1987 to aid homeless students. Relief has come in the form of new shoes and clothing, cell phones so children can always reach an adult, and in some cases the creation of study centers complete with books, supplies, tutors, and computers.

America must take a hard look at not only the best ways to reform our education system, but also at how we can ensure all children get to the classroom in the first place. For a country that was formerly the leader in public education, this is a worthy pursuit.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexander de Avila

Alexander is a Political columnist at PolicyMic. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College's school of Government, focusing his studies on international politics and the impact of emerging technologies on government and war. He has experience working at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and as a research assistant at TSKB in Istanbul exploring alternative energy sources.

MORE FROM

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.