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.
Currently, fewer than one in four school districts receive direct support through the EHCY program due to low appropriations. Yet according to Chapin Hall’s Voices of Youth Count, lack of a high school degree or GED is the top risk factor for youth and young adult homelessness; indeed, youth without a high school degree or GED are 4.5 times more likely to experience homelessness than peers who completed high school. Investing in the education of children and youth who are experiencing homelessness is thus a critical strategy to reduce and prevent adult homelessness.
H.R. 6157 also increases funding for child care, Head Start, Career and Technical Education, Title I, TRIO, GEAR-UP, and Pell Grants.
Additionally, it includes a stopgap measure to keep other agencies running through December 7. The Senate is likely to vote on the bill this week and the House next week.
The chart below summarizes funding levels for selected programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Please note that funding for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is included in a separate measure, H.R. 6147, which is still under consideration by a House-Senate Conference.)