There's something notable about stats that document the growth of homeless and highly mobile students during our never-ending recession.
Homelessness among Minneapolis students is up, which isn't newsworthy, considering the city's widespread areas of poverty. But it's risen far more sharply in suburban Hennepin County and in the rest of the state. The stats cover only students in public schools, not youth too young for school or those in private or parochial schools
That's a snapshot gleaned from some of the data submitted to a Results Minneapolis discussion this week at City Hall of statistical indicators for the city's youth.
Although Minneapolis contains the preponderance of the county's homeless or highly mobile youth, its number of such students rose just 20 percent during the recession.
Meanwhile, the number of such students tripled in the rest of the county, and was up 96 percent statewide. Although Minneapolis still has more than two-thirds of the county's homeless students, it actually added fewer bodies to the rolls of homeless students. There were 1,049 more suburban students counted as homeless during the 2010-11 school year, compared to the start of the recession, against 578 more in the city.
What's going on? Two factors contribute, according to Zib Hinz, the Minneapolis school district's long-time head of providing services to students who live in shelters or who change addresses frequently.
One factor is an undeniably bigger jump in homelessness among suburban students, Hinz said. But she added that the contrast between the city and elsewhere is exacerbated by better identification of suburban and rural students by their districts under pressure from a federal mandate.,
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Housing Partnership said this week that there are more than 9,000 homeless chgildren in the Minneapolis, St. PAul and Duluth school districts.