State Rankings of Identification of Homeless Students

Over 1.35 million children nationwide experienced homelessness while attending school last year. Unfortunately, access to the educational supports these children need varies by geography. Overall, factors such as accessibility to early education programs or a school’s capacity to identify the signs of homelessness and housing instability early not only vary by district, but by state. These factors also influence the extent to which a homeless child’s education is helped or hindered.

Developing a mechanism to assess and rank states’ efforts and ability to identify homeless students is a first step to enabling educators and policymakers to consider reforms that ensure homeless students have the same opportunity for a quality education as their housed classmates.

To provide a platform for these conversations, ICPH began measuring accountability for homeless students by state. These rankings are now an interactive web tool that displays how a state’s performance across multiple indicators compares to its neighbors and how its own ability to serve homeless students has changed over time.

Although it is difficult to measure the full complexity of states’ homeless identification efforts, ICPH determined five key indicators that best capture a state’s ability to serve different types of homeless students:

In addition to being presented separately, these indicators are also computed into an overall ranking summarizing a state’s ability to identify and serve students that experience homelessness. Explore the map below to see where your state ranks, and scroll down for more information on how these indicators were chosen and calculated.

Hover over a state and click through the years to see how the rankings have changed over time. Click on a state for more information.

Click below to learn more and see where your state ranks on each indicator.