Archived Policy Posts

Recommendations for the Implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act

Recommendations for the Implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act

Here are the final comments specific to homeless and foster youth provisions on the 2023-2024 FAFSA. We urge ED to take every possible step to implement these provisions as soon as possible, including incorporating them on the 2023-2024 FAFSA. In particular, we urge that the following FAFSA Simplification changes be reflected on the 2023-2024 FAFSA.

Help Homeless and Foster Youth Get Up to $1,502 in Tax Refunds in 2022

Help Homeless and Foster Youth Get Up to $1,502 in Tax Refunds in 2022

This tax season, there are special rules for homeless and foster youth that were achieved through the American Rescue Plan Act, and the tremendous leadership of U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL).

Qualifying youth experiencing homelessness and youth from foster care who are at least 18 years old are eligible for a $1,502 tax refund through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), even if they are full-time students. This is a departure from previous tax years, and of special importance to vulnerable youth who are still in high school or pursuing higher education.

New Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Remove Barriers to Postsecondary Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

New Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Remove Barriers to Postsecondary Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

On Thursday, December 9, the “Helping Foster and Homeless Youth Achieve Act” was introduced in the Senate by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This bipartisan legislation removes barriers to higher education for youth experiencing homelessness and youth formerly in foster care by requiring federally-funded institutions of higher education waive application fees for foster and homeless youth.

Recommendations for the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Recommendations for the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

SHC’s recommendations are based on our daily direct interaction with our network, as well as decades of experience witnessing the many ways that previous federal strategic plans have fallen short, or failed outright. It is our hope that in light of the persistent — and often generational — crisis of homelessness, the Biden-Harris Administration will pursue fresh perspectives and new ideas. It is in this spirit that we offer the following feedback.

What’s in the Build Back Better Act for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness – And Why It Matters

What’s in the Build Back Better Act for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness – And Why It Matters

On November 3, updated bill text was released for the Build Back Better Act, the Biden Administration’s social spending package.
While negotiations continue and the legislation is likely to change before it is finalized, the details provided so far are cause for hope for children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. SchoolHouse Connection strongly supports this legislation, and urges Congress to pass it quickly. We provide a high-level summary of provisions that are most closely related to child, youth, and family homelessness, and why they matter.

Senate Committee Proposes 38% Funding Increase for Homeless Education Program

Senate Committee Proposes 38% Funding Increase for Homeless Education Program

On October 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released its fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bills, which include a proposed 38% increase in funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. The Committee also proposed FY2022 increases for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program and other homelessness programs. Here’s a breakdown.

19 Members of Congress Call for Efficient Rent Relief Through School Partnerships

19 Members of Congress Call for Efficient Rent Relief Through School Partnerships

On Tuesday, October 13th, a Dear Colleague Letter led by U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and signed by 18 other U.S. Representatives, called on the U.S. Department of Treasury to prioritize partnerships with local educational agencies in the distribution of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds. Read the full text of the letter and the press release.

U.S. House Rules Committee Hosts Hearing on Ending Child Hunger

U.S. House Rules Committee Hosts Hearing on Ending Child Hunger

On Wednesday, September 15th, the U.S. House Committee on Rules hosted a roundtable entitled, Ending Hunger in America: Examining the Role Schools Play in Ending Hunger and Improving Nutrition. The hearing was part of a series highlighting challenges and solutions to food insecurity, and encouraging Congress and the Biden administration to take action to combat it. Here is Barbara’s testimony.

$600M in Additional Funding Announced to Identify and Support Homeless Children & Youth

$600M in Additional Funding Announced to Identify and Support Homeless Children & Youth

On July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) made available a brief application for states to apply for $600 million specifically to support the school identification, enrollment, participation, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

This is the second disbursement of funds through the American Rescue Plan Act; the first disbursement of $200 million (ARP Homeless I) was made available on April 23, 2021.

Congressional Hearing Held on Reengaging Students Experiencing Homelessness and Students in Foster Care

Congressional Hearing Held on Reengaging Students Experiencing Homelessness and Students in Foster Care

On May 19, 2021, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing entitled, “Picking up the Pieces: Strengthening Connections with Students Experiencing Homelessness and Children in Foster Care.” The hearing focused on the need for intensive efforts to re-engage students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care, and how funds included in the American Rescue Plan Act can be utilized in these efforts.

Legislation Increasing Access to Child Care Reintroduced in U.S. Senate

Legislation Increasing Access to Child Care Reintroduced in U.S. Senate

On April 22, 2021, the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) was reintroduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the U.S. Senate and by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The CCWFA amends the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and the Head Start Act to increase access to high quality early learning services by improving the quality and supply of child care services and preschool programs, incentivizing a highly skilled child care workforce, and lowering child care costs for working families.

New Guidance on ARP Housing, Higher Education, and Head Start Funding

New Guidance on ARP Housing, Higher Education, and Head Start Funding

Over the past week, several federal agencies released guidance for funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Specifically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued revised guidance for rental assistance; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice on Emergency Housing Vouchers; the U.S. Department of Education released funds and issued guidance for the ARP Higher Education Emergency Relief funds, and the Office of Head Start issued guidance on use of ARP Head Start funding. We’ve summarized key takeaways for educators and service providers.

Urgent Action Needed: Support FY22 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

Urgent Action Needed: Support FY22 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Don Bacon (R-NE) are circulating a bipartisan “Dear Colleague letter” in support of FY2022 funding increases for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA program). Take action to support FY22 funding for homeless children and youth.

Congress Passes the American Rescue Act Plan: Funding for Homeless Children and Youth Included

Congress Passes the American Rescue Act Plan: Funding for Homeless Children and Youth Included

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, H.R. 1319, its most recent package for COVID-19 relief. SchoolHouse Connection is thrilled that one of our top priorities made it into the final legislation: dedicated funding to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services. The $800 million in funding is more funding than Congress has appropriated for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness over the last ten years, combined. The funds come from the nearly $123 billion in aid within the bill for K-12 education.

Senate Passes COVID Bill with $800 Million for Homeless Children and Youth

Senate Passes COVID Bill with $800 Million for Homeless Children and Youth

On Saturday, March 6, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, sending the $1.9 trillion package back to the House for final adoption. Senators approved by voice vote a bipartisan amendment offered by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to provide $800 million in dedicated funding to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services.

House Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill: Action Needed to Help Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

House Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill: Action Needed to Help Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

On February 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its latest COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act, H.R. 1319. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to be amended, then sent back to the House for approval. SchoolHouse Connection is pleased to see broad support for low-income families and young adults, and especially the extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit to unaccompanied homeless youth and foster youth at age 18. However, we remain deeply concerned by the lack of dedicated funding for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Final Spending Package Provides Short-Term Help But Much More Must Be Done

On December 21, Congress passed a legislative package including over $900 billion for emergency coronavirus relief, and $1.4 trillion for the final fiscal year 2021 (FY21) budget. The emergency coronavirus funds are intended as a stop-gap measure, providing much-needed immediate relief over the next few months, until the new Congress convenes.

FAFSA Fixes for Homeless and Foster Youth Included in Final Funding Bill

Congressional leaders announced that the final FY2021 funding legislation to be voted on today will include provisions to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including many measures to remove financial aid barriers for unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness, and former foster youth. SchoolHouse Connection is thrilled to announce this historic win at the close of a challenging year for children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. It is a culmination of a decade of consistent, bipartisan advocacy to help youth experiencing homelessness and from foster care access financial aid.

Bipartisan Senate Resolution Introduced Recognizing November 2020 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month”

Bipartisan Senate Resolution Introduced Recognizing November 2020 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month”

On November 20, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led 19 Senators in introducing their bipartisan resolution to recognize November 2020 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month.” This is the second year that both child and youth homelessness — the experience from infancy to young adulthood — have been recognized in the form of a Congressional resolution.

Senate Releases FY2021 Spending Bills

On November 10, the U.S. Senate released its FY2021 spending bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as other agencies. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its FY2021 Labor-HHS-ED spending bill, H.R. 7614, on July 13.

Addressing Child, Youth, and Family Homelessness: Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration

There is nothing ordinary about this Presidential transition. The seismic events of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis, the toxic political divisions, and the long overdue awakening to systemic racism call for new thinking, and bold and decisive action to reflect current realities. This is especially true for our most vulnerable children, youth, and families, who must be a priority if our nation is to have hope for a stronger future. Addressing homelessness in the same ways that it has been addressed in the past is a recipe for failure we can ill afford. Specifically, we must prioritize young children, youth, and families, and we must center child and youth serving systems in our response to homelessness. If we do not, we are all but guaranteeing that homelessness will continue for future generations. 

House Passes Updated COVID-19 Relief Legislation

On Thursday, October 1st, the House passed a revised version of the HEROES Act, a $2.2 billion stimulus package responding to the coronavirus pandemic. SchoolHouse Connection urges readers to take action today to ensure that these measures are included in any final coronavirus relief package.

Emergency Legislation for Homeless Children, Youth, and Families Introduced

On Friday, August 7, U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Don Young (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan Emergency Family Stabilization Act, H.R. 7950 (EFSA).
This legislation is the companion bill to S. 3923, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate on June 10 by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME). This legislation provides flexible funding directly to community-based organizations to meet the needs of children, families, and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revising and Strengthening the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness recently requested input from stakeholders on revising the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. As one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations on child, youth, and family homelessness, SchoolHouse Connection was invited to participate in the first stakeholder call, and also submitted formal written comments. We will continue to advocate for a strategic plan that confronts the realities of child, youth, and family homelessness, centers racial and ethnic equity, and recognizes the core role of early care and education.

URGENT ACTION: Support Homeless and Trafficked Children, Youth, and Families in the Next COVID Relief Bill

U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Danny K. Davis (D-IL) are circulating a bipartisan “Dear Colleague Letter” to House leadership requesting support for children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and for survivors of human trafficking in the next coronavirus relief package. Please take one minute to protect, support, and stabilize vulnerable youth and families during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations on Equitable Education During COVID-19

Signed by over 50 organizations, this statement provides promising practices and recommendations to school administrators, teachers, parents, education and civil rights advocates, and policymakers who are working hard to educate and care for America’s students in this unprecedented time of crisis. It focuses on five important areas requiring attention to ensure student success: distance learning and digital access, delivery of school meals, instruction for students with disabilities, instruction for students experiencing homelessness, and combatting discrimination based on race and national origin, including for English learners.

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and Homeless Students

The application requires states to describe the strategies used to serve disadvantaged populations, which explicitly includes students experiencing homelessness, as well as foster care youth, English learners, children with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income students. Given the many urgent needs related to COVID-19, it is unlikely that Governors’ offices will prioritize the needs of students experiencing homelessness without specific advocacy.

Emergency Financial Aid Grants through the CARES Act

Over $6 billion to institutions of higher education for emergency financial aid grants, to be provided directly to students for expenses related to disruptions in education caused by COVID-19, including course materials and technology, food, housing, health care, and childcare. The guidance from ED does not instruct institutions on how to provide emergency financial aid to students, but does encourage leaders to prioritize those students with the greatest need. Find out how much each institution received, and how to advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and from foster care to be prioritized for assistance.

“Phase Four” Coronavirus Advocacy Priorities for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness

Congress recently passed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748. Yet lawmakers already are at work on a fourth major legislative package (“Phase Four”) to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act provided significant new resources for education, early care, housing, nutrition, and services. However, those resources are insufficiently targeted to one of the most mobile, vulnerable, and hidden populations: children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. To prevent lasting harm to children, youth, and families – and to prevent adult homelessness – SchoolHouse Connection urges Congress to include specific supports through efficient, existing service-delivery systems and programs in the next coronavirus legislative package.

Third Major Coronavirus Legislation Enacted: Includes New Funding to Support Homeless Children and Youth

On Friday, March 27, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748. Additional emergency aid bills are expected in future months. H.R. 748 represents a $2 trillion package that includes a wide range of funding and policy measures to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including to address the early care, education, and emergency housing needs of children, youth, and families. A summary of these provisions is provided here.

Congressional Action on COVID-19 and Homelessness

On Wednesday, March 18, President Trump signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (H.R. 6201). The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, secures paid emergency leave, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states.

SHC Submits Public Comment on Proposed Study of Federal Education Funding

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it was seeking comments on a new study of over $30 billion in federal education spending. The study will examine how local educational agencies and schools use funding they receive under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. SchoolHouse Connection submitted comments urging the Department to include questions in its study about the amount of funds reserved for students experiencing homelessness under Title I Part A, and the use of the reserved funds.

President’s FY2021 Budget Proposal Threatens Educational Protections for Homeless Children and Youth

On February 10, 2020, President Trump released his FY2021 budget proposal. The proposal is just that – a proposal. Congress, and in particular the Appropriations Committees, have the power and the responsibility to determine the actual funding that is appropriated each year for federal programs. Please take one minute now to send a letter to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to urge them to support the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY program) and Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs in the fiscal year 2021 budget.

2019 Legislative Recap and 2020 Outlook

Many bills on child, youth, and family homelessness were introduced in the first session of the 116th Congress, and will continue to make their way through the legislative process next year. We’ve briefly summarized the status of eight of the bills that impact children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness most directly, starting with SchoolHouse Connection’s top legislative priorities.

The Pitfalls of HUD’s Point-in-Time Count

The Pitfalls of HUD’s Point-in-Time Count

On December 20, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released data ahead of its 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR), boasting decreases in family and youth homelessness. This assertion was challenged by providers who work directly with families and youth, including early childhood programs and educators, who see a very different reality.
This short article explains why HUD’s data are flawed and misleading, and why other federal data sources provide a more accurate picture of child, youth, and family homelessness.

Congress Passes Final FY2020 Federal Budget

On Thursday, December 19, the Senate passed the final FY2020 appropriations bills, H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865, sending them on to the President for his signature. The two federal programs specifically targeted to support children and youth experiencing homelessness received funding increases in the final legislation, as did other vital early care, education, and housing programs.

The Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration Act of 2019

On December 10, 2019, the Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration Act of 2019 (the AHEAD Act, S. 3011) was introduced to provide funding to help school districts, housing authorities, and community partners to collaborate in unprecedented ways to address children’s education and housing needs in a coordinated fashion. Please take one minute to help school districts, housing authorities and our local communities address the unique needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing November 2019 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month”

On November 14, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and cosponsored by twelve other U.S. Senators, recognizing November 2019 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month.” It is the first resolution to recognize both child and youth homelessness, from infancy to young adulthood.

House Committee Passes Higher Education Bill with Provisions to Help Homeless and Foster Youth

On Thursday, October 31, the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) was voted out of the House Education and Labor Committee by a vote of 28-22. It is a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that also includes many provisions to remove barriers to higher education for youth experiencing homelessness and youth from foster care, including those in the bipartisan Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act (S.789/H.R. 1724), or HEASHFY. Learn more and take action.

Help Homeless Youth Access Housing and Pursue Education

On Monday, October 28, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the Housing for Homeless Students Act, H.R. 4865. H.R. 4865 is the House companion bill to bipartisan Senate legislation, S.767, introduced earlier this year by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Angus King (I-ME). Learn more and take one minute to contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative so that homeless youth don’t have to choose between a place to live, and the education that is their best hope of a brighter, more secure future.

Senator Alexander Introduces FAFSA Simplification Bill

On Thursday, September 26, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, introduced the Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019, S.2557. The legislation bundles together eight different bills to amend parts of the Higher Education Act (HEA), including FAFSA and financial aid award letter simplification, as well as Pell Grant expansion. 

The New “Public Charge” Immigration Rule: How It Affects Students And Schools

On August 14, the Department of Homeland Security published a new Public Charge rule that broadens the definition of “public benefits,” making it more difficult for people to demonstrate that they will not become a public charge. The new rule will be the subject of litigation, and a court is likely to prevent the rule from taking effect immediately. In the unlikely event the rule is not blocked by litigation, it will go into effect on October 15, 2019. The new rule is complex, but here we provide some basic information for schools and families.

House Approves Funding Increase for Homeless Children and Youth

On May 9, the House Appropriations Committee passed its FY2020 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.The House bill includes $100 million in FY2020 funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. This represents a 7% increase over the FY2019 level; if enacted, it would represent a 30% increase in EHCY funding since FY2017.

Higher Education Legislation for Homeless and Foster Youth Introduced

On March 13, 2019, bipartisan, bicameral legislation was introduced to remove barriers to higher education access and success caused by homelessness and foster care. The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2019 (HEASHFY S.789/H.R.1724) amends the Higher Education Act to simplify eligibility for federal financial aid and to improve outreach, resources, and policies for homeless and foster youth.

A New Year, A New Congress: 2019 Legislative Priorities

The 116th Congress convened last week, kicking off a two-year legislative session. A new Congress means new members and new committee assignments -- and, in the case of the U.S. House of Representatives, a new majority. In addition to addressing the urgent need to...

2018 Legislative Highlights

2018 was a momentous year for our work to ensure that local, state, and federal systems recognize and prioritize the needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. At the federal level, we led efforts to secure: Unprecedented funding increases for...

First State Bills for 2019 Introduced, with More on the Way

First State Bills for 2019 Introduced, with More on the Way

Although state legislatures will not begin considering new legislation until early next year, SchoolHouse Connection and our state policy partners have been working feverishly for months to prepare. Last week, our first bill was introduced: a higher education bill in the Texas state legislature. Proposals in other states will tackle higher education, vital documents, minor consent, credit accrual, child care, employment, and transportation.

Newly Enacted Opioid Bill Could Help Homeless Children, Youth, and Families

On Wednesday, October 24, President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. The legislation contains many provisions that could help children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness who are impacted by the opioid crisis, as well as provisions to help all children and youth who experience trauma.

FY2019 Funding Bill Passes, Signed Into Law

On September 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6157, the FY2019 appropriations bill for education, early care, and human services. It now moves to the President’s desk for his signature. The measure increases funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program by 10%, building on last year’s increase of 10%. This marks the first time in the history of the McKinney-Vento Act that funding for the EHCY program surpasses the authorized funding level.

Career and Technical Education Bill Signed into Law

Career and Technical Education Bill Signed into Law

Career and Technical Education (CTE) can be an important tool for youth experiencing homelessness to gain work experience and skills in trades that can provide a living wage. Given the potential for CTE to support youth experiencing homelessness, we are pleased to share that on July 31, 2018, the President signed a new CTE law that contains multiple provisions to improve access and success for youth experiencing homelessness.

A Big Win: House Committee Passes the Homeless Children and Youth Act

On July 24, 2018, the House Financial Services Committee passed the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act, H.R. 1511. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), may now be considered by the full House of Representatives. A bipartisan Senate companion bill, S. 611, is led by US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

Senate Bill Would Increase Funding for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

On June 28, the Senate appropriations committee passed S. 3158, a bill that would increase FY2019 funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program by 10%, from $85 million to $93.5 million. The bill maintains funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program at $127.3 million. The bill next moves to the Senate floor for a vote.

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Help Homeless Youth Access Career and Technical Education

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee reached bipartisan agreement on a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The Committee passed the bill on Tuesday, June 26, sending it to the full Senate for a vote.

The Senate bill contains many provisions that would help youth experiencing homelessness access career and technical education. Most notably, the bill specifies that individuals experiencing homelessness, as defined by the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Act, are one of nine “special populations.” The bill provides many additional supports and services to special populations.

House Hearing on Homeless Children and Youth

  On June 6, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing to review the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 1511). Witnesses included: Barbara Duffield, Executive Director, SchoolHouse Connection Kat...

Birth Certificates and IDs for Minors: A Problem with a Solution

Birth Certificates and IDs for Minors: A Problem with a Solution

On May 21, 2018, the governor of Tennessee signed HB 2303, which allows children and youth of any age experiencing homelessness to obtain their birth certificate and state ID. The bill passed the Senate unanimously, with only two votes in opposition in the House. Legislators on both sides of the aisle saw the wisdom in eliminating barriers to youth obtaining the documents and services they need.

Fixing the FAFSA for Homeless Youth

Fixing the FAFSA for Homeless Youth: Congress Considers HEA Reauthorization with Testimony from a SHC Leader Image above: Witnesses at the November 27 Senate Committee Hearing on FAFSA Homelessness, lack of education, and poverty are inextricably linked. Recent...

House Passes Career and Technical Education Bill

House Passes Career and Technical Education Bill

On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed “The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” HR 2353. SchoolHouse Connection applauds the passage of this legislation, which will improve access to high-quality career and technical education for youth experiencing homelessness. For many homeless youth, career and technical education may offer the best path to living-wage employment that will help them escape poverty, and therefore never experience homelessness again.

Education Department Releases New ESSA Template

Education Department Releases New ESSA Template

On March 13, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a new template for states to use in developing their state plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These elements are directly from the McKinney-Vento statute, and are nearly identical to those included in the previous template. The new template does include two new elements from the McKinney-Vento statute that had not been in the previous template.

ESSA Regulations Remain in Question, But McKinney-Vento Clarity Emerges

ESSA Regulations Remain in Question, But McKinney-Vento Clarity Emerges

Regardless of the fate of the ESSA regulations, we now can provide some clarity about state implementation of the two primary areas of McKinney-Vento affected by the ESSA regulations: 1) the content and submission of state plans; and 2) the method of calculating high school graduation rates for students experiencing homelessness.

House Passes Resolution to Prevent Implementation of ESSA Accountability Regulations 

House Passes Resolution to Prevent Implementation of ESSA Accountability Regulations 

On February 2nd, Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 57) that would prevent recently-issued regulations on state plans and accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from taking effect. To clarify what these actions might mean for students who are homeless or in foster care, we provide a short Q & A below.

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