Career and Technical Education Bill Signed into Law

Career and Technical Education (CTE) can be an important tool for youth experiencing homelessness to gain work experience and skills in trades that can provide a living wage. Given the potential for CTE to support youth experiencing homelessness, we are pleased to share that on July 31, 2018, the President signed a new CTE law that contains multiple provisions to improve access and success for youth experiencing homelessness.

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State Laws to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

This publication provides information on four categories of state laws that support youth experiencing homelessness.
1. Laws allowing unaccompanied homeless minors to consent for housing and shelter services
2. Laws empowering unaccompanied minors to consent for routine medical care
3. Laws that mitigate the effects of mobility to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school
4. Laws supporting students experiencing homelessness in higher education

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Why Career and Technical Education Can be a Perfect Fit for Students Experiencing Homelessness

By DJ QuirinMa, Federal Programs Data Analyst, Montana Office of Public Instruction, Christy Hendricks, Data control specialist for CTE, Montana Office of Public Instruction, and Heather Denny, State Coordinator for Homeless Education, Montana Office of Public Instruction. “Here in Montana, we began to look at the programs that all high schools, both urban and rural, already had in place. We found that for students experiencing homelessness, the completion of three or more Career and Technical Education courses lowered the likelihood of dropping out by half. There were no dropouts among the students who participated in a Career and Technical Student Organization.” 

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If we were to form a support group available to McKinney-Vento students at our high school, would that fall under the segregation prohibition?

Answer: No, that would be fine, because it is extra-curricular and does not replace any regular academics or school activities. You’d need to be careful about stigma— so thinking about where and when the group meets, what it is called, how you advertise it, etc. But...

Can Title IA homeless set-aside funds be used to support McKinney-Vento students in private schools?

Answer: No. As we examined the text of the law, the issue we were trying to resolve was the meaning of the phrase “in the local educational agency.” The set-aside language says the set-aside is for: "homeless children and youths, including providing educationally...

Since ESSA, LEAs are required to ensure unaccompanied homeless youth are informed of their status as independent students and get assistance from the liaison to get a letter verifying their status for the FAFSA. Should LEAs also provide letters for McKinney-Vento students still living with a parent?

Answer: In terms of federal financial aid, there is no benefit or difference in the application for youth who are homeless with their families as compared to non-homeless youth with their families. Therefore, there would be no reason for those students to have a...

When was the term “doubled up” added to the McKinney-Vento homeless definition? I’m having a hard time tracking down the correct amendments.

Answer: The term “doubled up” does not appear in the McKinney-Vento Act, which explains why you are having trouble finding it! It is a shorthand that some people use to refer to this section of the definition: “children and youths who are sharing the housing of other...

Can you explain the basic structure of McKinney-Vento funding?

Answer: The most recent federal appropriation for the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth program was $85 million dollars, the highest appropriation ever and an increase of over 10% compared to the previous year. This McKinney-Vento funding is...

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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