On Thursday, July 28th, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed Democratic appropriation bills for fiscal year 2023 (FY23).
The Senate bills include:
- $150 million in funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, which is a 32% increase from its FY2022 appropriation. This is significantly higher than the House bill, which provides a 7% increase in EHCY funding.
- $151.3 million in FY2023 funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) program, which is a 15.5% increase from its FY2022 appropriation. This is higher than the House bill, which provides a 10% increase in RHYA funding.
EHCY and RHYA are the only two federal programs that specifically target the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The EHCY program is the only federal education program that removes barriers to school identification, enrollment, attendance, and success caused by homelessness. No other federal education program has the responsibility for and expertise in finding, engaging, and serving students who are homeless. Local liaisons help identify homeless children and youth, ensure school access and stability, provide direct services, and coordinate with community agencies to meet basic needs. RHYA programs prevent trafficking, identify survivors, and provide services to runaway, homeless, and disconnected youth, yet only 25% of applicants currently receive funding.
The Senate bills will not be marked up in Committee, but will serve as a starting point for negotiations with the House bills in the fall. It is expected that the FY23 budget will not be finalized until after the midterm election.
It is critical to weigh in to support the Senate bill’s funding levels for EHCY and RHYA now, and throughout the process.
Other Highlights of the FY23 House Appropriations Bills
The chart below provides recent and proposed funding levels for selected programs supporting children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to adopt the Senate’s proposed funding increases for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program (EHCY) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs, the only two federal programs specifically targeted to supporting homeless children and youth.
Click the action form, here, to personalize a template letter to be sent to your Members of Congress, requesting their support for the EHCY and RHYA programs.