(UNDATED) - The Indiana Youth Institute says the number of homeless Indiana public school students is climbing.
Data shows there were 7,547 homeless students during the 2005-2006 school year.
The number jumped to 8,249 the following year and to 8,480 during the 2007-2008 school year marking a 12% increase over two years.
IYI President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz cites high foreclosure and unemployment rates with parents struggling to provide stable homes for their kids.
He says overall, an estimated 29,000 Indiana children of all ages are considered homeless.
The Federal Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides funding for states to help educate homeless students.
Students qualify if they live in motels or shelters or if they have "doubled up" with family and friends because their families can't afford housing of their own.
Students who run away from home or have been kicked out, pregnant teenagers without a place to live and those living on the streets also qualify for the program, which can provide transportation to school, free textbooks and exemptions from certain rules.
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