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The percentage of children enrolled in the public school system who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or who are awaiting foster-care placement.


Percent of Public School Children Who Are Homeless Out of Total Enrollment on September 30th of Each School Year
2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
MD .66% .78% .91% .99% 1.04% 1.27% 1.55% 1.63% 1.69% 1.82%

Data Source: Data provided by the Maryland State Department of Education

Story Behind the Data:

Under Title I of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2001, MSDE distributes funds to local school systems through a competitive grant process.  The McKinney-Vento Act ensures that all homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education provided to other children and youth.  State and local school systems are required to develop, review, and revise policies to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youth.  All children and youth experiencing homelessness are eligible for Title I services in Title I schools, non-Title I schools, and other settings in which they reside.

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, local school systems may be granted funds to provide programs for homeless children and youth, including supplemental instruction, transportation, professional development, and referrals to health care.  If a school-aged child becomes homeless, the McKinney-Vento Act allows for the child to either continue at the “school of origin” for the entire time he or she is homeless or until the end of the academic year in which he or she moves into permanent housing, transfers to a school nearest to the child’s temporary shelter, or is sent to a school other than one the child’s parent/guardian has requested.

Approximately 859,638 children and youth were enrolled in a Maryland public school during 2013, 1.82% of whom were homeless.  From SY2003-2004 to SY2012-2013, the percentage of enrolled children and youth who are homeless increased more than 175%, from 0.66% to 1.82 %.

In response to the growing homelessness rate among public school students, and its persistence among Maryland adults, the Maryland General Assembly established the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) in 2014.  The ICH will evaluate current State policies relating to homelessness and make annual recommendations to the General Assembly regarding necessary policy changes.  A sub-group of the ICH is the Housing and Supportive Services for Young Adults Workgroup, which will focus on the unique needs and challenges of youth dealing with homelessness.

The data for these counts are collected annually and submitted to the MSDE Division of Accountability and Assessment (DAA) via flags in the Attendance Data Collection.  The Homeless Coordinators at every local education agency  work with the Local Area Coordinator  to provide accurate counts to MSDE for accountability and to meet the federal reporting requirements.  These data are submitted to the federal level via the Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) and the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) on an annual basis.*

Additional Information:

*The data are located in Part I of the CSPR, section 1.9 and at the following link: