Wake County Schools

Wake County schools look to support homeless students

Posted November 3, 2015 6:11 p.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2015 8:08 p.m. EST

— There are thousands of homeless students in Wake County, and on Tuesday, school board members discussed ways to better support those students and keep them on the right track.

Last year, there were more than 2,700 homeless students in Wake County, and district officials believe that there are many more who have not been identified.

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness month, and school leaders said that a homeless child is four times more likely to get sick and twice as likely to be hungry. More than 80 percent of them have witnessed a serious violent event.

These factors all cause issues with learning in the classroom, but schools work to offer support. The Wake County Public School System provides meals, counseling support and even showers and washing machines.

Tuesday night’s school board meeting also had continued discussion on the proposed school reassignment plan.

Marilee Starr voiced a common complaint with the new reassignment plan during a public hearing Tuesday evening. She said that her student will be assigned to a school that is further away from home.

"For the life of me, I can not understand why our base has been reassigned," said Starr. "Also, I am concerned because I don't think families in our area know we have been reassigned."

School leaders are on the third draft of the reassignment proposal. Changes from previous hearings have been made to accommodate parents.

School officials said that the reassignments are needed to fill five newly constructed schools next year.