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School Districts report 85 homeless students in Taylor County

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By Zac Oakes

New statistics released Thursday from the Kentucky Department of Education show 85 homeless students in the local school districts.

Broken down further, the Taylor County School District reported 48 students as homeless, 1.9 percent of the 2,584 students in the district, according to KDE. The Campbellsville Independent School District reported 37 students as homeless, 3.4 percent of the school’s 1,092 students.

Taking a look at other nearby school districts, Adair County has 40 homeless students, making up 1.6 percent of the district’s student population. Green County recorded 15 homeless students, accounting for 0.9 percent of the district’s student population.

In other neighboring school districts, Casey County recorded 18 homeless students, accounting for 0.8 percent of the district’s student population, while LaRue County recorded 32 homeless students, making up 1.4 percent of the student population.

On each end of the spectrum, Marion County recorded nine homeless students, making up only 0.3 percent of the district’s student population. Russell County had one of the highest homeless student populations in the region, recording 317 homeless students in the district, making up 10.7 percent of the student population.

For the 2015-2016 school year, the reports showed 79 homeless students from the local school districts.

Homeless student statistics are self-reported by the school district with guidelines from the Kentucky Department of Education and the United States Department of Education.

The United States Department of Education homeless non-regulatory guidance defines homeless children and youths as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.

This definition is wide-ranging and includes children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (known as ‘doubled up’), living in a motel, hotel, trailer park, or camp ground due to lack of an alternative living accommodation, or living in emergency or transitional shelters.

The USDE also recognizes homeless children and youth as those who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings, and migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in similar circumstances.