KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - New data shows Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) has the most homeless students of any district in Michigan.
The University of Michigan discovered more than 900 of the nearly 13,000 students at KPS experienced homelessness during the 2015-16 school year, which is 200 more homeless students than any other district in the state.
In third place, Grand Rapids Public Schools which had about 270 less homeless students than KPS, but has roughly 3,500 more children total in the district.
When comparing number of homeless students to number of students in the district, Kalamazoo's ratio put them in fourth place. They still have the largest number of homeless students in Michigan.
The report also found Detroit City Schools, which is nearly four times bigger than KPS and three times bigger than GRPS, has fewer total children who are homeless.
Researchers defined "homeless" as having a lack of a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
Not only is this an issue for students when they leave class for the day, but researchers found homeless students were less likely to graduate high school in four years, and more likely to drop out.
Smaller districts also made the list of schools dealing with large numbers of homelessness. The study found at least one in 10 children at Galesburg-Augusta, Mendon and Athens schools experienced homelessness during the school year.
The goal of the University of Michigan's study was to show why city and county officials need better access to data about the homeless populations, so they can develop programs to help struggling families.