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New data analysis by investigative reporters in Florida shows a huge jump in children’s poverty in a state hard hit by foreclosures and unemployment.

According to our colleagues at the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, “homelessness among school-age children soared from 30,878 in the 2006-07 school year to 56,680 in 2010-11. Homelessness for children of all ages, including those too young for public school, was 83,957 in 2010-11, up from 49,886 in 2006-07.”

The math is pretty stark: Between 2007 and 2011, the number of homeless school-age kids in Florida leaped 84 percent.

The Center’s thoughtful story on the impact of the Great Recession charts the rise of children’s poverty, county by county in Florida. Ellen L. Bassuk, president of the National Center on Family Homelessness, based in Massachusetts, is quoted making a disturbing observation.

“I think that we are growing a Third World in our own back yard,” Bassuk says. “We look at developing countries, but we don’t look at our own country.”

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Susan Ferriss joined CPI in 2011 and directs its immigration project. As a Cox Newspapers Latin America...