Public schools across the country enrolled 1.1 million homeless students during the 2011-2012 school year, the highest number on record, according to new data from the Department of Education.
The number of homeless students in public schools has increased by 72 percent since the beginning of the recession. North Dakota faced a 212 percent increase just since the 2010-2011 school year. Michigan, Maine, North Carolina, Wyoming, Vermont and South Dakota all faced increases above 20%.
California, New York, Texas, and Florida have the highest number of homeless students.
“Headlines are filled with indicators that the economy is improving, but the record numbers of homeless students show that children and their families are still feeling the effects of a tough economy,” Bruce Lesley, president of the children’s advocacy group First Focus, said in a statement.