Report: Federal Law May Discourage Finding Homeless Children

School districts around the country may be deliberately underreporting homeless children in an effort to save money, according to a government report.

The Government Accountability Office surveyed administrators in twenty different school districts around the country to assess the effectiveness of the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, a component of McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

EHCY grants homeless students certain rights with the goal of preventing them from falling behind in education. For example, school districts are required to provide the homeless with a means of transportation to and from school, and they are required to offer a certain degree of academic support to such students, as well.

Trending: Duck Duck Go’s far-left political donations and abuse of user data have users FUMING

The federal government offers a degree of funding to help with such requirements, but the funds are doled out by states to individual districts based on assessed need. As a result, districts without funding could find themselves on the hook for thousands in additional expenses for every additional homeless student that is identified.

take our poll - story continues below

Is Congress Setting a Dangerous Precedent with 2nd Trump Impeachment?

  • Is Congress Setting a Dangerous Precedent with 2nd Trump Impeachment?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Freedom Outpost updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

That financial nudge, the GAO said, is likely causing student homelessness to go underreported.

“[S]chool districts face financial disincentives to identifying homeless children and youth due to the cost of services districts must provide,” the report says.

In order to offset this, the GAO suggests that the federal government create a more rigorous regulatory regime to ensure that the homeless are sought out with sufficient vigor at the local level.

In addition to financial reasons, the GAO suggested many other causes for the alleged underreporting of homelessness, including the stigma that caused families to conceal it, fear of government oversight, and, interestingly, anti-homosexual bias. Several school districts, the GAO said, believed that school districts were underreporting the number of students “who may have separated from their families due to their LGBTQ identification.” More targeted outreach may be needed to help such individuals, the report said.

As of the 2011-12 school year, at least 1.1 million public school children were believed to have been homeless for a period, according to Department of Education data. According to the government’s definition, homeless children include not only those living in shelters or on the streets, but also any children forced to live in another person’s home (a situation called “doubling up”) due to an economic emergency.


Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at

Become an insider!

Sign up for the free Freedom Outpost email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

You Might Like
Previous Ebola Among Health Workers: More Than 240 Sick, More Than 120 Dead
Next Democrats Desperate to Preserve Senate Majority

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon to the right of the comment, and report it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation. If you don't see a commenting section below, please disable your adblocker.

Sorry. No data so far.