Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools

A REPORT BY CIVIC ENTERPRISES AND HART RESEARCH ASSOCIATES; 2016

While student homelessness is on the rise, with more than 1.3 million homeless students identified during
the 2013-14 school year1, these students and the school liaisons and state coordinators that support them tell us that
student homelessness remains an invisible and extremely disruptive problem, compounded by the lack of awareness of the issue in
many communities.
Students experiencing homelessness struggle to stay in school, to perform well, and to form meaningful connections with peers and
adults. Ultimately, they are much more likely to fall off track and eventually drop out of school than their non-homeless peers. Until
this year, states and schools were not even accountable for tracking and making progress on their rates of graduation for homeless
students.
Although student homelessness is a challenging problem, we believe it is a solvable one. Our nation’s public schools have a
critical role to play in connecting students to the supports that will help them regain stable housing, weather the trauma and
disruption homelessness brings to their lives, and stay on track to get a quality education fundamental to their success in life.

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