$800M in Funds Announced for Homeless Students

$800M in Funds Announced: Help is Here for Homeless Students

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of $800 million to support the identification, enrollment, participation, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness, and to provide them with wrap-around services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is eight times the FY2021 appropriation for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, and more than the previous ten years of EHCY funding combined.

Strategic use of federal funds by state and local educational agencies is critical to help children and youth recover from this crisis. SchoolHouse Connection commends ED for its release of the funds in two installments to help schools meet the urgent needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness now, and also plan for thoughtful, strategic use of funds in the hard months ahead. ED’s guidance on use of funds, and the emphasis to use funds to identify and serve historically underserved populations, will promote access, equity, and success for some of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

SchoolHouse Connection has compiled best practices and ideas for use of funds in our new resource: How to Use American Rescue Plan Act K-12 Education Funds to Identify and Support Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.

We’ve also created a quick overview of the timing, allocation, and uses of funds of the ARP Homeless Children and Youth Funding, here

We are thrilled that our top legislative priority was enacted, and is now being implemented. We are excited to work with states, local educational agencies, service providers, and communities to ensure that these funds are leveraged to meet urgent and immediate needs, and to spark innovation and transformation in how our nation responds to the needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.

Today’s announcement came two days after ED released its State plan template for the remaining $41 billion in American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds, which also includes funds to be used to support students experiencing homelessness.