Homeless Students

September 28, 2016

The Wake County Public School System is the nation's 16th largest public school system with a 2015-16 average daily attendance of 157,780 students.

I learned last week, when I met with school social worker, Michelle Mozingo, that more than 3,000 students in Wake County public schools are considered displaced -- or not having stable housing. Each of the district's schools has students in this population. Approximately 2,200 students were "doubled up" living with other families and about 1,100 students will live in and out of hotels as their primary residence at some point during the school year. 600 students will move more than three times during the school year.

It's obvious the negative impact that unstable housing can have on education and self-esteem. Thankfully, there is a federal law called McKinney-Vento that has been in place since the 1980's that requires local school districts to stabilize the educational environment for these students despite their unstable housing situations. Basically, school districts must provide transportation to keep students in their original school if they have been displaced due to unstable housing.

3,000+ students facing an uncertain housing situation day by day! How can this be in the state's most affluent county that is frequently rated as one of the top places to live in the country?