Number of homeless students in S.C. soars

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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