|n recent years, you've heard a lot about the growing number of homeless students in Central Florida's public schools. But the problem isn't limited to our region -- or our state. Sadly, data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education show that, for the first time in history, the nation's public schools reported more than 1 million homeless students.
The number includes children enrolled in U.S. public preschools and kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2010-2011 school year. And the figure actually underestimates the number of homeless children by excluding infants, toddlers, preschool-aged children who aren't enrolled in public programs and homeless children who are home-schooled. (Yes, they exist. I recently interviewed a family that has lived in a motel for nine months while the parents continue to home-school their three children.)