CHICAGO (WLS) --The number of homeless students in the suburbs has been escalating for a few years now, a factor of the economy and also the greater effort schools are taking to identify homeless students and families that are otherwise reluctant to reveal themselves.
In Northwest suburban Cook County, which includes high school districts 207, 211 and 214, there are 55 percent more homeless students than two years ago. In DuPage and Lake Counties, the numbers have risen by more than 35 percent each. In contrast, the statewide rise in homeless students has been 17 percent from 2010 to 2013, according to the State Board of Education. And while Illinois schools average 2 percent homeless, more than 50 schools in the North, Northwest and Western suburbs have rates that go as high as 7 percent. One school, in the Fox Lake area, has a homeless enrollment of 13.8 percent.
Meanwhile, as the number of homeless kids in suburban schools has soared, federal funding has been at the same level since 2006-2007. The state of Illinois contributed $3 million to schools in 2009, and then stopped the funding altogether. Some money may be included in the 2015 budget.
You can read the full story in the Daily Herald's edition from Sunday, July 27, 2014, or online at dailyherald.com.