NewsEducation / December 24, 2019

Indiana's Homeless Student Population Nearly Doubled This Decade, School Funding Covers Half

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
According to state data, Indiana had more than 16,300 homeless students enrolled in schools last year, compared to just over 8,900 in 2008.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

According to state data, Indiana had more than 16,300 homeless students enrolled in schools last year, compared to just over 8,900 in 2008.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The number of homeless students enrolled in Hoosier schools nearly doubled between 2008 and 2018.

According to state data, Indiana had more than 16,300 homeless students enrolled in schools last year, compared to just over 8,900 in 2008. 

Fort Wayne Community Schools has the highest student enrollment in the state overall, and the second largest population of homeless students. 

Spokesperson Krista Stockman says the district offers meals and transportation to any homeless student enrolled in the district, but doesn’t get money for all of the services it provides to all students.

“And when the state funding formula looks at kids, that’s not something they necessarily take into consideration,” she says.

The state’s school funding formula accounts for local poverty rates, but not homelessness specifically. Stockman says that makes food, funding and clothing donations from community members essential to serving those students throughout the year. 

But Stockman says many people don’t always know what homeless students looks like, which can create challenges too.

“They’re living at grandma’s house this week, and an aunt’s house next week. You know they may not appear to be that stereotypical homeless child,” she says.

According to a state report, more than 30 school districts receive federal funding to serve about half of Indiana’s homeless students. 

The report also highlights youth who are at higher risk of experiencing homelessness. It says 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+ and about 44 percent of homeless young women are pregnant or have children.

Contact Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

At WFYI, our goal is to cover stories that matter to you. Our reporting is rooted in facts. It considers all perspectives and is available to everyone. We don't have paywalls, but we do need support. So if unbiased, trusted journalism is important to you, please join us. Donate now.

 

 

Related News

As Schools Re-Evaluate, Teachers Say Remote Learning Is Burning Out Staff And Students
Want To Know Where IPS School Board Candidates Stand? Check Our Voter Guide
Ball State Spring Classes To Begin Jan. 19; No Spring Break Scheduled