The number of homeless students in University Place has decreased, according to data provided the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
During the 2011-12 school year, 45 students were reported homeless, compared to 64 in the 2010-11 school year.
Homeless students are counted as part of the federal McKinney-Vento act, which defines a student as homeless if he or she lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
The act requires districts to provide homeless students with the same access to education as everyone else, including transportation to and from the same district that the student was attending before he or she became homeless, according to OSPI.
The number of homeless students in University Place decreased slightly since the 2010-11 school year, when 64 students were reported as homeless. The 2010-11 school year had the highest reported amount of homeless students since 2007-08, according to the data collected.
OSPI reports that about 5,609 students are enrolled in the district this year, which means about .08 percent of the student population is considered homeless.
According to the OSPI data, 30 out of the 45 students reported homeless last year were doubling up. Nine students lived in shelters and six were reported to be unsheltered.
The number of homeless students in the Peninsula School District in 2011-12 was the highest among 3rd, 8th, 9th and 12th graders, according to the OSPI data.
SPECIAL REPORT: Homelessness In University Place School District Jumps
Students are considered homeless if they live in emergency or transitional shelters; motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds; shared housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship; hospitals secondary to abandonment or awaiting foster care placement; cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing or similar situations; and public or private places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for human beings, according to OSPI.
The lack of a stable home puts tremendous pressure on homeless students. Mobility rates are higher than students in homes, absentee rates are higher, health problems are more prevalent and graduation rates are lower, OSPI wrote.
Homeless Students in Washington State by School District
(as reported by each school district)
-- Data from OSPI