As the number of homeless students continues to rise in Michigan, school districts across the state are struggling to transport and educate them.

Sometimes, schools pay a taxi service to transport homeless students back to the school they attended before they became homeless. Assisting with transportation is required under federal law.

Schools in Washtenaw County spent $5,234 transporting homeless children by taxi in October 2010. This year, the October cab bill spiked to $9,223 for a county that has seen a 40% increase in the number of homeless students in the last two years at 10 school districts and 11 charter schools. Most of the bill ($8,139) was paid by the districts, not the federal government.

"We have families who are moving every three or four days," said Peri Stone-Palmquist, who is in charge of the homeless program for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. "We feel like we are drowning with the number of families that are calling for help."

Other districts don't have taxi service and rely on busing or give parents gas cards to defray costs.

source : www.freep.com