The U.S. House of Representatives will act this week and next on the education funding in President Biden’s COVID-19 package, which totals $130 billion for public schools. Currently, not a single penny is targeted to meet the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
School closures have been devastating for homeless children and youth. Nationally, 400,000 homeless children—1 in 4 – have gone unidentified and unenrolled in public schools due to COVID-19. These students are disproportionately students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities.
While previous COVID packages allowed funds to be used to support homeless students, they did not require it. As a result, a nationwide survey of McKinney-Vento liaisons found that only 18% of respondents indicated that COVID relief education funding was being used to support students experiencing homelessness within their school districts. Without specific, intentional outreach and support by schools, children and youth experiencing homelessness are more likely to fall further behind, and miss out on critical services. Yet the Biden plan fails to include any funding for the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, or any required support.
Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge her or him to ensure that specific, targeted funding to support the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in the next COVID relief bill. Dedicated funding is needed to ensure that these children and youth are identified, and connected to and supported in school.
Contact information for U.S. Representatives can be found at https://www.house.gov/representatives or through the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please Read One-pager
Barbara Duffield, Executive Director
Website: SchoolHouse Connection
Office: 202.364.7392 | Cell: 202.549.7668
Twitter: @SchoolHouseConn | Facebook: SchoolHouse Connection
Overcoming Homelessness Through Education