More than 35,000 public school students in Washington were homeless last school year, according to new figures released Tuesday.
About 3.3 percent of Washington students are homeless.
More than two-thirds of those kids are in families that are doubled up with other families. The number of kids living in hotels and in shelters continues to rise, as well.
The state counted more than 1,600 kids living completely without shelter, up from 1,036 in 2011.
Washington Homeless Students
“It’s been, by my calculations, at least seven years in a row that the [overall] numbers have been increasing,” said Nathan Olson, communications director for Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“And that’s a shame, it’s very much a shame. No student should have to worry, at four o’clock in the afternoon, where am I going to sleep tonight?”
Oregon has fewer students overall than Washington, but more Oregon students are categorized as completely lacking shelter than in Washington. Oregon had 2,272 “unsheltered” students last year, according to the Oregon Department of Education. Washington had 1,601.