The number of S.C. schoolchildren who are homeless is skyrocketing, increasing nearly 45 percent over the past three years.
They now number about 8,700, or 1 percent of the state's school population, according to data from the state Department of Education.
While the reasons children become homeless range from a parent fleeing domestic abuse to natural disasters, the economic downturn increasingly is a factor
"Affordable housing and extreme poverty are the main reasons students become homeless. We're seeing more of both," said Brenda Myers, state Department of Education coordinator for the McKinney-Vento Education Program, named for the federal law that requires public schools to accommodate homeless students.
Most likely, the true number of homeless S.C. students is higher.
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