FY2019 Funding Bill Passes, Signed Into Law

On September 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6157, the FY2019 appropriations bill for education, early care, and human services. It now moves to the President’s desk for his signature. The measure increases funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program by 10%, building on last year’s increase of 10%. This marks the first time in the history of the McKinney-Vento Act that funding for the EHCY program surpasses the authorized funding level.

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Tip Sheets for Young People

SchoolHouse Connection is pleased to launch a new series of tip sheets informed by, and designed for, young people. Future topics include accessing mental health services, signing a cell phone contract, transitioning out of college, and more.

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Failing Mia and Kiley: The Family Homeless Assistance System is Broken

By Mary Ellen Mitchell, Co-Director, Lydia’s House, Cincinnati, OH. “On the early afternoon of August 21, 2018, we received a call to our intake line. St. Vincent de Paul asked us to provide housing for a young woman, Mia, and her three-year-old daughter, Kiley. We were told that Mia had been living in her car with Kiley for over a month.”

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Our district policy is that if an unaccompanied minor’s parent is out of state, whomever he/she was living with would have to apply for temporary guardianship in order for the youth to enter school. I have always thought that for McKinney-Vento purposes that should not be our policy, because the minor qualifies as homeless, and it shouldn’t matter where the parent was. Am I right?

Answer: Yes, you are exactly right! The requirement for a caretaker to get temporary guardianship is a barrier to enrollment that would be a violation of McKinney-Vento. The time it takes to get guardianship, the cost and the paperwork would delay enrollment, and that...

Can a youth service provider that is not HUD- or RHYA-funded help an unaccompanied youth verify her status for the FAFSA?

Answer: Yes. Technically, only HUD-funded and RHYA-funded shelters (and homeless liaisons) are authorized to verify homelessness for the FAFSA. However, other shelters and service providers can provide documentation to assist the Financial Aid Administrator to make...

Even though we have a state law that requires students to take the TB test to be physically in class, I understand that federal law overrides state law, and that a student identified as homeless can be in the classroom regardless if they have a TB test. Can you point me to this provision in federal law?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll students experiencing homelessness immediately, even if the student is unable to provide documents that are typically required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, records of immunization and...

Is a student considered homeless if the family owns multiple residences but loses or leaves one of them? We recently had a situation with a family who had one of their homes foreclosed on, but still owned and moved into their vacation cottage.

Answer: No, the student would not be eligible under McKinney-Vento. The family moved directly from one fixed, regular, and adequate residence, to another fixed, regular, and adequate residence, with no qualifying homeless situation in between. The only caveat would be...

Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2015-16 school year, public schools identified more than 1.3 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require education beyond high school. Post-secondary attainment is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Unaccompanied Youth

Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year.

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