The American Rescue Plan Act provided $800 million in funding specifically dedicated to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services. These funds, known as American Rescue Plan-Homeless Children and Youth Funds (ARP-HCY), were released in two phases.
SchoolHouse Connection (SHC) recognizes the important role that McKinney-Vento State Coordinators and state educational agencies (SEAs) have in using and dispersing ARP-HCY funds. State Coordinators are the key to providing comprehensive technical assistance and professional development for local educational agencies (LEAs), consortia, and community-based organizations (CBOs). We also realize that there are many challenges in navigating state-level procedures, and that the directive to get funds out as expeditiously as possible — while also ensuring that funds are used as effectively as possible — has been difficult to carry out.
States may reserve up to 25 percent of both the Part I and Part II allocations for state-level activities. State set-aside funds may be used for training, technical assistance, capacity-building and engagement. The U.S. Department of Education specifically names underserved populations and encourages states to contract with community-based organizations already serving these populations to provide wrap-around services. Many states are choosing not to keep the full 25 percent, in order to release more funds to LEAs. State Coordinators should consider what amount is necessary to accomplish state-level activities as named in state plans. More information on state-level activities is available in the U.S. Department of Education’s Dear Colleague Letter.
The purpose of this checklist is to help guide state decisions in allocating and using state set-aside ARP-HCY funds to best meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.