Newsletter (March 28, 2024)

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Every Student Counts

Millions of students are not showing up to school.

For students experiencing homelessness, school is often much more than a place of learning; it’s a space of stability in their otherwise turbulent lives. Yet, amid a confluence of crises, unprecedented levels of homelessness are driving these students away from their schools.


National Data Reveals a Staggering Reality 

More than half of students experiencing homelessness were chronically absent in the 2021-2022 school year—a rate that jumped 20% following the pandemic. The mobility, poverty, and trauma associated with homelessness affects students’ emotional and physical health, hygiene, preparedness for school, transportation options, and other factors that increase absenteeism. Chronic absences increase the likelihood that a student will drop out of high school, which can perpetuate child and youth homelessness.


Using ARP-HCY Funds to Identify Homeless Students and Increase Attendance

A bipartisan amendment to the ARP allocated $800 million to help schools identify and support homeless students. The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance illustrating the wide range of permitted uses for these funds, including uses that directly remove barriers to school attendance. 

We collaborated with Attendance Works on a blog post to show how ARP-HCY funds can be used to identify students experiencing homelessness and increase their school attendance.

Other Resources to Improve Student Attendance

Supporting the Attendance of Students Experiencing Homelessness – This brief shares strategies that schools, districts, and communities are implementing to help ensure that students experiencing homelessness are in school, every day. 



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