First State Bills for 2019 Introduced, with More on the Way

Although state legislatures will not begin considering new legislation until early next year, SchoolHouse Connection and our state policy partners have been working feverishly for months to prepare. Last week, our first bill was introduced: a higher education bill in the Texas state legislature. Proposals in other states will tackle higher education, vital documents, minor consent, credit accrual, child care, employment, and transportation.

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5 Guides to Help Homeless College Students in California

The California Homeless Youth Project and SchoolHouse Connection are proud to announce a series of five practical guides to support homeless and low-income college students in California. These series provide concise overviews of the five greatest needs of students experiencing homelessness: housing resources, CalFresh application assistance, FAFSA completion, mental health services, and access to supportive services outside of the school.

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Is Your College Food Pantry Ready for the Chopped Challenge?

Many college students experiencing homelessness are also hungry and food insecure. In response, some colleges and universities create food banks and food pantries. In honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we highlight Holyoke Community College’s unique strategy to raise awareness, partner with faculty, and create delicious recipes by creating a “Chopped Challenge.” Read here.

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I work with youth in independent living programs and transitional housing programs for foster youth. Are the youth in our programs homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act?

Answer: It sounds like you are working with youth in foster care. Youth in foster care includes any youth in the care and custody of the child welfare system, regardless of where they are placed (including an ILP or THPP, motel, or other situation), how long they have...

Can you provide perspective on schools using ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft as student transportation?

Answer: It’s really up to the school district to determine if they want to use ride-sharing services. The district’s lawyers or risk managers may have a position on whether those services are appropriate to transport students. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the means...

When it comes to student needs under the umbrella of Title I services, can the fiscal manager deny requests for the McKinney-Vento students? Can the fiscal manager have the students pay for pencils, or deny orders of school supplies?

Answer: Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, all local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive Title I, Part A funds are required to reserve funds for students experiencing homelessness. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(A). Even if the LEA has not identified McKinney-Vento...

Under McKinney Vento, can a family be considered homeless if they are living in inadequate housing that is not doubled up, a hotel, or public space? For example, a family of 5 living in a one bedroom apartment.

Answer: Definitely yes! The law includes adequacy in two ways. First, the umbrella definition of homeless is “lacking a fixing, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” That means regardless of any other factors, if a residence is lacking in any ONE of those three...

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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