Federal law seeks new help for 'hidden' homeless students
BUFFALO, N.Y. – School administrators this year are being pushed to get better at recognizing homeless students — those "hidden" in other people's homes or whose families are staying in places like campgrounds, motels and cars — and to keep them in school even if they're missing paperwork or move around.
The count of homeless students enrolled in American schools, now more than 1.3 million, is nearly double what it was a decade ago. The number is expected to grow — or become more accurate — as schools relax enrollment barriers and strengthen the role of liaisons charged with identifying and connecting homeless students with services.
The provisions take effect Oct. 1 under an expansion of homeless services in a new education law, which also will require states to break out achievement and graduation rates among the homeless. Homeless children are especially vulnerable to chronic absence and poor grades.