About 2.33 percent, 196 students, in the Sumner 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.
For the Sumner School District, the figure is actually down from .
Then, district officials reported the majority of students were doubled up with family and friends, and the newest numbers continue to reflect this (129 of the 196 students). Twenty were living in hotels or motels, 41 were in shelters and six reported no shelter.
Across grade levels, numbers were pretty evenly distributed, with a low of three students in pre-kindergarten and 26 students in 12th grade, according to the OSPI data.
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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.
Homeless Students in Washington State by School District
(as reported by each school district)
-- Data from OSPI