Recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education show that, for the first time in history, the nation has more than 1 million homeless students.
The number includes children enrolled in U.S. public preschools and kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2010-2011 school year.
The figure actually underestimates the number of homeless children by excluding infants, toddlers, preschool-aged children who aren't enrolled in public programs and homeless children who are home-schooled.
According to the federal government, 44 states had an increase in the number of homeless students compared to 2009-2010 -- and for 15 states the increase was a staggering 20 percent or more.
The states with the biggest increases were Kentucky (up 47 percent), Michigan (38 percent), Mississippi (35 percent), Utah (47 percent) and West Virginia (38 percent).
Florida, with nearly 56,000 homeless students across the state in 2010-2011, increased 15 percent over the previous year -- and ranks fourth in the nation in terms of sheer numbers. Orlando Sentinel. PressTV