Regional News

Washington's homeless student population spikes by 12 percent, approaching 40,000

Washington’s homeless student population is skyrocketing.

Nearly 40,000 students across the state didn’t have a permanent place to sleep last school year, a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

Over 1,000 of those students lived in the Tri-Cities area – 301 in Richland, 337 in Kennewick and 429 in Pasco. The city of Prosser had 201 homeless students

Yakima stood on the lower end of the scale. It had 78 homeless students last school year.

Walla Walla’s homeless student population was 285 residents.

The state’s total number of homeless students has nearly doubled since the 2008-09 count, increasing by 90.9 percent.

The four-year graduation rate for Washington’s homeless students in the Class of 2016 was 53.2 percent, compared with 79.1 percent for all students, the Seattle Times reports.

Three out of four homeless students last school year slept in someone else’s house. Others lived in shelters, hotels and unsheltered areas like parks, cars or campgrounds.

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