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Homelessness

Definition:
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
2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
MD .78% .91% .99% 1.04% 1.27% 1.55% 1.63% 1.69% 1.82% 1.87%

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 2001, the Maryland State Department of Education (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.  Additionally, funds may also be set aside through Title I Part A for every local school system whether they have received a McKinney-Vento grant or not.

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 be sent to a school other than one the child’s parent/guardian has requested.

The data reported for this indicator focus on children enrolled in a Maryland public school and experiencing homelessness at some point during the 2013-2014 school year.  Approximately 866,169 children and youth were enrolled in a Maryland public school during 2014, 1.87% of whom were homeless.  Since the 2004 school year, the percentage of enrolled children and youth who are homeless has steadily increased from 0.66% to 1.87 % in 2014, and now represents more than 16,000 students.

In part due the recent rise in the number of homeless students, in April 2015, Governor Larry Hogan announced that reducing youth homelessness would serve as one of four strategic goals for the Governor’s Office for Children and the Children’s Cabinet. More information is available about Maryland’s efforts to address youth homelessness on the strategic goals page and through the Children’s Cabinet’s 2015 Strategic Direction and Implementation Plan.

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