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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: McKinney-Vento

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September 24, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Number of homeless schoolchildren rising

The number of homeless children  in Washington’s public schools rose 12 percent between the school years ending in 2012 and 2013.

The total climbed to 30,609 students, exceeding the total enrollment of Tacoma’s school system, the state’s second largest district.

National data released this week by the U.S. Department of Education show an 8 percent increase for the same period, reaching a total of about 1.2 million children without a regular place to sleep at night.

Washington state education officials can’t say why Washington increased more than the nation (34 states and the District of Columbia report yearly figures) as a whole, but many factors contribute to homelessness, including changes in the availability of affordable housing, job opportunities and local social services.

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