Following up on our previous post on the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, here are some data points to further detail ‘the picture’ of student homelessness in Massachusetts.
Data collected: In Massachusetts there have been 27 districts that have received sub-grant funding through the McKinney Vento Homeless Education Grant in the past two school years; their data-reporting is included in the following charts. In addition, roughly 97% of school districts without sub-grants reported for the 2016-2017 data, compared to roughly 93% reporting for the 2015-2016 data.
The following data includes students from Pre-K to 12th grade:
(Check the ‘Sources’ links at the end of this post for the full DESE data set tables.)
Of the 21,112 homeless children and youth reported for the 2016-2017 school year, their primary nighttime residence at the time of their initial identification varied:
For the 2016-2017 school year in Massachusetts public schools:
- The statewide total of homeless children and youth has leveled off since the previous school year, but still is over 8,000 students higher than in 2009-2010
- More students are doubling-up than are in shelters
- While less students are in hotels / motels, the numbers of those who are in shelters, doubled-up, and unaccompanied have increased
- Some districts are experiencing very large increases
- By grade level, counts of homeless students are…
- down to 1,694 among Kindergarteners (from 1,917 in 2015-2016)
- down to 1,809 among 1st-graders (from 2,020 in 2015-2016)
- up to 1,417 among 8th-graders (from 1,320 in 2015-2016)
- down to 1,873 among 9th-graders (from 1,962 in 2015-2016)
- up to 1,329 among 11th-graders (from 1,127 in 2015-2016)
The increases in students experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts must be met with actions for more funding and for further collaborative interagency efforts, both for reconciling socioeconomic inequities and to collect and share better data on current challenges around and solutions to student and family homelessness.
-McMillan Ilderton Gaither
MSW Public Policy Intern, Homes for Families / Salem State University
Sources / More Information:
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2016). Ending Family Homelessness, Improving Outcomes for Children.