This fall we see the opening of First Place School as a charter school serving mobile, high-risk students (mostly homeless). The Times had a story about how homeless students are served in schools in Washington state with an interesting question to it.
The Times reports that there are about 30,000 homeless kids in our state today (and that number has steadily risen over the last decade). School can be the one constant in their lives (for as long as they may be in any given school).
There's a federal law protecting these students - the McKinney-Vento Act - and it allows students to stay enrolled in a school even if they move. Districts have to pay to transport them to that school, no matter the distance.
The feds give money for these transportation costs but naturally, it doesn't cover them all. Seattle SD spends over $1M a year in costs (out of a state budget for transportation of all homeless WA state students of less than $1M a year).
One thought is that maybe Seattle SD might be better off putting those transportation dollars towards a housing subsidy that would keep kids nearer their schools.
I could see how this might provide better outcomes but I also think it could be a headache for districts to try to figure out how to do this (a bill is likely to come up in the next legislative session).
Transportation costs are fairly high in our own district. But maybe this is an idea worth looking into to bring those down.