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Data shows more than 10,000 homeless students in WV's public schools

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By Amelia Ferrell, Charleston Gazette-Mail

There are 10,522 homeless students in West Virginia, a number so large it could fill the state’s largest high school more than five times.

Homeless students account for nearly 4 percent of all students enrolled this past school year in kindergarten through 12th grade in public schools, according to data from the West Virginia Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year.

It means that if your child is in a class of 25 students, odds are that one of the children is sleeping on a family member’s couch, living in a car or RV, or residing in a shelter.

 

Homeless students often can change schools multiple times throughout the school year, leading to a breakdown of a social network and falling behind academically.

Lawmakers in June passed an omnibus education bill advertised as a way to help struggling students, yet several lawmakers admitted the thousands of homeless students weren’t mentioned in months of debate leading up to the final vote.

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