Families are Safe and Economically Stable (Statewide)

Homelessness: % of Public School Children Homeless on September 30 of School Year


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Story Behind the Curve

The data reported for this indicator focus on children enrolled in a Maryland public school and experiencing homelessness at some point during the 2016-2017 school year.  Approximately 892,148 children and youth were enrolled in a Maryland public school during 2017, 1.95% of whom were homeless at some point during the year.  Since the 2010-2011 school year, the percentage of enrolled children and youth who are homeless had steadily increased from 1.63% to 1.95% in 2016-2017, with a small decrease in the homeless children count in 2014-2015 (1.84% of the total enrollment).  These data are collected annually and submitted to the MSDE Division of Curriculum, Assessment, and Accountability (DCAA) by the Homeless Coordinators at every local education agency (LEA).  These data are then submitted to the federal level via the Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) and the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) on an annual basis.

What Works

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, LEA’s may be awarded funds to provide services and programs for homeless children and youth, including supplemental instruction, transportation, professional development, and referrals to health care.  If a preschool or school-aged child becomes homeless, the McKinney-Vento Act allows for the child or youth 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.

The MSDE distributes supplemental funds to LEAs under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act to LEAs 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 LEAs are required to develop, review, and revise policies to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youth.  Under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), LEAs reserve funds for students experiencing homelessness in non-Title I and Title I schools.  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 whether or not they have received a McKinney-Vento grant.  

Local Highlight

The interventions implemented by the Local Education Agencies are determined by the priority needs of the children and youth experiencing homelessness in the local jurisdiction. Therefore, the interventions and services provided vary statewide. Examples of innovative approaches being implemented include:

  • Baltimore County Public Schools:  Offers extensive tutoring resources across six Baltimore County homeless shelters.  In addition, summer camp opportunities where young people have the opportunity to earn academic credit, seminars and mentoring in life skills, employment skills, and college entrance requirements, and placement of students in a paid job site for 7 weeks.
  • Howard County Public Schools:  Offers a College and Career-Ready Mentoring Program for homeless high school students.  The program implements strategies and activities to increase both the graduation rate and college entrance rate of students experiencing homelessness.  The program is currently being offered in 13 high schools in the county.
  • St. Mary’s County Public Schools:  Implements an evidence-based intervention, Check and Connect, to close the gaps, in respect to increasing attendance and achievement, as well as decreasing suspensions, between students receiving services under McKinney-Vento and the total student population at Great Mills High School.  Students receive instruction in executive function skills.
  • Wicomico County Public Schools:  ASPIRE program addresses several problems facing homeless students such as the achievement gaps and the high mobility rate of this subgroup.  Unaccompanied youth, school-aged children and youth in grades Pre-K through twelve grade and Infants & Toddlers are the target population.  The program offers transportation assistance, after-school tutoring, and a 2-week summer enrichment camp and parent education.  In an effort to help students gain employment, 10 students’ ages 18-21 will have the opportunity to participate in the ServSafe Employee Food Handlers course.
Data Discussion

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

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