Reading Time: 2 minutes

Public schools are required by federal law to take steps that will help homeless students get an equal education.

But what homelessness looks like is broader than families and even some schools realize. The federal definition, for instance, includes children doubling up with extended family out of economic need or living in transitional housing paid for by a charitable group.

Beth Petersen and her son experienced both types of homelessness in recent months and had to battle for school access. Follow them through a morning one school day after Petersen resolved the problem.

  • Beth Petersen sits on the stairs with her chin resting on her folded hands as she watches her son leaves for the school bus.
  • Beth Petersen's son sits on a sofa as he wipes sleep from his eyes while she sits at a table and digs into a bag.
  • Beth Petersen's son carries his backpack as he walks towards the school bus that will take him to his middle school.
  • Beth Petersen, dressed in all black, stands next to the picket fence out side of her apartment.
  • Beth Petersen sits on the steps outside her apartment after waiting for her son to catch the school bus

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