© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 91.3 Port Huron 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Education

Michigan's student homelessness problem is growing

Homeless camp
Nicole Salow
/
Flickr
More than 43,000 Michigan students are homeless. According to the Detroit Free Press, many live in tents like these.

The number of K-12 students in the U.S. without a home is on the rise.

More than 1.1 million children in the U.S. were homeless in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the Department of Education.

Suzi Parker at takepart.com looked at the numbers and found that Michigan has one of the fastest-growing homeless student populations in the country.

In Michigan, 43,418 students were homeless in the 2011-2012 school year, compared to 30,671 in the 2010-2011 school year:

“The state had a 42 percent increase in homeless students from two school years ago to the last one, and a 96 percent jump as compared with the 2009–10 cycle.”

The latest numbers make Michigan the 4th worst in the country when it comes to student homelessness. The green states shown here are seeing the biggest increases:

Green states have seen a 20% or more increase in student homelessness from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2011-2012 school year.
Credit Department of Education
Green states have seen a 20% or more increase in student homelessness from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2011-2012 school year.

Under federal law, school districts across the nation are required to provide resources to homeless students, like school supplies and transportation. But the high costs associated with those services means that for some cash-strapped districts, they turn a blind eye to the problem.

"There is actually a perverse disincentive to find homeless kids, if finding them means paying for transportation," Barbara Duffield, policy director for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, told the Detroit Free Press in 2011.

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Related Content