Last week, a House-Senate conference committee on FY2019 appropriations struck an agreement to increase federal funding for key education and early care programs. The measure, H.R. 6157, would increase 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%. If passed, it would be the first time in the history of the McKinney-Vento Act that funding for the EHCY program surpassed the authorized funding level.

Currently, fewer than one in four school districts receive direct support through the EHCY program due to low appropriations. Yet according to Chapin Hall’s Voices of Youth Count, lack of a high school degree or GED is the top risk factor for youth and young adult homelessness; indeed, youth without a high school degree or GED are 4.5 times more likely to experience homelessness than peers who completed high school. Investing in the education of children and youth who are experiencing homelessness is thus a critical strategy to reduce and prevent adult homelessness.

The House-Senate agreement also increases funding for child care, Head Start, Career and Technical Education, Title I, TRIO, GEAR-UP, and Pell Grants. It also includes a stopgap measure to keep other agencies running through December 7. The Senate is likely to vote on the bill this week and the House next week.

The chart below summarizes funding levels for selected programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(Please note that funding for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is included in a separate measure, H.R. 6147, which is still under consideration by a House-Senate Conference.)

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