Newsletter (March 25, 2024)

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On Saturday, March 23rd, Congress passed the final FY2024 budget package.

Despite our best attempts – and the strong bipartisan advocacy of 32 U.S. Senators led by U.S. Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Manchin (D-WV), and Sinema (I-AZ) – the package does not extend the obligation deadline for the American Rescue Plan – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY funds). 

Fierce opposition from some lawmakers to any provision related to pandemic aid, coupled with a chaotic and rushed legislative process, resulted in this proposal being left out of the agreement.  In addition, the midnight deadline meant that no votes could be taken on amendments that would actually pass, because that would have required the bill to be sent back to the House, which would have caused a government shutdown.  

The final FY2024 package does contain some helpful provisions that resulted from our collective advocacy, including:

  • An additional year of availability for FY2023 and FY2024 McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) funding. 
  • Requirements for the U.S. Department of Education to provide greater oversight of and transparency on Title I Part A reservations of funds for children and youth experiencing homelessness
  • Requirements for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop (and report to Congress) a plan to lead and coordinate efforts to provide holistic services.

We know that many of you took part in advocacy to urge your Members of Congress to support the ARP-HCY extension. That advocacy mattered, and will continue to matter as we pivot to the FY2025 budget and the continuing need to educate policymakers on the importance of increased dedicated funding for students experiencing homelessness.

Action Needed:

Now that the FY2024 budget is finalized, Congress is ramping up action on the FY2025 budget. A bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter is circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls for $800 million for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and $304 million for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program and in the FY 2025 budget.

The more U.S. Representatives sign on to this bipartisan letter, the greater the show of support for enacting these critical funding levels in the FY 2025 budget.

Please take two minutes to personalize and fill out the template below. You can personalize the message by offering to provide a copy of the letter and more information on the numbers and needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness in your community or state.

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