Newsletter (February 22, 2024)

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Act by Monday: Urge Your U.S. Senators to Sign A Bipartisan Letter for One More Year to Use ARP-HCY Funds

This week, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators – Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) – are circulating a “Dear Colleague Letter” that requests an extension of the obligation deadline for American Rescue Plan – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds by one school year, to September 2025.

This extension would allow schools to use ARP-HCY funds in the most strategic way possible, enabling them to meet urgent needs as such needs arise – rather than spending just to meet the deadline – and to put plans in place to sustain programming and services. SchoolHouse Connection’s national survey of school district liaisons, released yesterday, demonstrated why an obligation deadline extension is necessary.

The deadline for other U.S. Senators to sign the letter is 5pm Eastern on Tuesday, February 27th.  The more Senators who sign the letter, the stronger the likelihood that the request will be successful.

    ACTION NEEDED: Please email the education policy advisor for both of your U.S. Senators and request that your Senators sign on to the Murkowski-Manchin-Sinema Dear Colleague Letter in support of extending the American Rescue Plan – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds obligation by one school year.

    STEP 1: Find the email addresses for your Senators’ education advisers here.

    STEP 2: Personalize and send the message below.

    SUBJECT: Please Sign Bipartisan DCL Supporting Homeless Students

    Dear _______

    I am writing to ask [INSERT YOUR SENATOR’S NAME] to sign-on to a Dear Colleague letter led by U.S. Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Manchin (D-WV), and Sinema (I-AZ) asking for an extension of the obligation deadline for American Rescue Plan – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds by one school year, to September 2025. The text of the letter is here.

    ARP-HCY funds are incredibly impactful and are making a big difference in the lives of vulnerable children. [INSERT AN EXAMPLE HERE OF HOW FUNDS ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IF YOU HAVE ONE.]

    An additional year of funding availability would allow schools to use ARP-HCY funds in the most strategic way possible. It would help schools meet urgent needs as such needs arise (rather than spending just to spend because of the deadline), and to put plans in place to sustain programming and services. [INSERT A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF THE BENEFIT OF AN EXTENDED DEADLINE IF YOU HAVE ONE.]

    Thank you for considering this request. More information on ARP-HCY funds and the need for an extension in the obligation may be found here.

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