Homelessness: 137 Issaquah Students Were Homeless Last Year

The number of children reported homeless in the district has remained nearly the same since the previous school year.

Less than 1 percent, or 137 students, in the Issaquah School District were reported to be homeless last school year, according to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Homeless students are counted as part of the federal McKinney-Vento Act, which defines a student as homeless if he or she lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

The act requires districts to provide homeless students with the same access to education as everyone else, including transportation to and from the same district that the student was attending before he or she became homeless, according to OSPI.

Statewide, the number of homeless students topped 27,000, reflecting an increase of 5.1 percent from 2010-11 and up 46.7 percent from 2007-08, according to OSPI.

In the Issaquah School District, the 137 figure represents little change, with 135 students identified as homeless during the 2010-11 school year.

Much of previous increases have been attributed to a worsening economy and a slow recovery, with parents losing jobs or getting fewer work hours or losing their homes during the recession that began in 2008.

According to OSPI's data provided, 53 of the homeless students in the Lake Washington School District were living in shelters, 78 were living with relatives or friends, and three were living in motels, and three were living in an "unsheltered" situation, which could include cars or campgrounds.


Past coverage:


Students are considered homeless if they live in emergency or transitional shelters; motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds; shared housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship; hospitals secondary to abandonment or awaiting foster care placement; cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing or similar situations; and public or private places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for human beings, according to OSPI.

The lack of a stable home puts tremendous pressure on homeless students. Mobility rates are higher than students in homes, absentee rates are higher, health problems are more prevalent and graduation rates are lower, OSPI wrote.

More information

Homeless Students in Washington State by School District
(as reported by each school district)

-- Data from OSPI


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