On October 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations released its fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) spending bills, which included proposed increases to education, homelessness, and housing programs. The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations passed its version of the FY2022 budget in July.
The Senate-proposed spending bills include:
- $146.5 million in FY2022 funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, a 37.5% increase from its FY2021 appropriation.
- $149.9 million in FY2022 funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program, a 9.7% increase from its FY2021 appropriation.
- Language directing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide information on successful youth transitional programs on its website.
- Language reminding HUD of the important role schools can play in identifying students experiencing homelessness and connecting youth with key community resources.
- Language reminding service providers of the overrepresentation of various subgroups among homeless youth, including LGBTQ+ youth and youth who have had involvement in the juvenile justice system, and particular challenges they may face.
The chart below compares past, present, and proposed federal funding levels for these and other key programs that serve children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.
The spending bills have not yet been voted out of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Federal funding bills must be passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by the President prior to the current December 3rd deadline; however, it is expected that Congress will pass a continuing resolution to extend the deadline and keep the government open while negotiations continue.
In the wake of COVID-19 and the eviction crisis, families and youth experiencing homelessness face increased barriers and challenges — especially students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners. Without the rights and protections of the McKinney-Vento Act’s EHCY program, these students struggle to access any other federal education investment or program. The RHYA program provides life-saving services and housing for our nation’s unaccompanied homeless youth, and is a vital program that needs additional resources to assist youth who experience homelessness on their own.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to support additional funding for the only two federal programs specifically targeted to supporting homeless children and youth – the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (EHCY) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs.
1. Use this action form to personalize a template letter to be sent to your Members of Congress, requesting their support for the EHCY and RHYA programs.
2. Meet with your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative, or their staff, to educate them about local needs and the importance of these programs. SHC is happy to facilitate virtual meetings; please sign up with this form, or email Alleanne Anderson.