News and Updates

 

Emergency Legislation for Homeless Children, Youth, and Families Introduced

On Friday, August 7, U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Don Young (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan Emergency Family Stabilization Act, H.R. 7950 (EFSA). This legislation is the companion bill to S. 3923, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate on June 10 by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME). This legislation provides flexible funding directly to community-based organizations to meet the needs of children, families, and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Revising and Strengthening the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness recently requested input from stakeholders on revising the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. As one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations on child, youth, and family homelessness, SchoolHouse Connection was invited to participate in the first stakeholder call, and also submitted formal written comments. We will continue to advocate for a strategic plan that confronts the realities of child, youth, and family homelessness, centers racial and ethnic equity, and recognizes the core role of early care and education.

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URGENT ACTION: Support Homeless and Trafficked Children, Youth, and Families in the Next COVID Relief Bill

U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Danny K. Davis (D-IL) are circulating a bipartisan “Dear Colleague Letter” to House leadership requesting support for children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and for survivors of human trafficking in the next coronavirus relief package. Please take one minute to protect, support, and stabilize vulnerable youth and families during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

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Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations on Equitable Education During COVID-19

Signed by over 50 organizations, this statement provides promising practices and recommendations to school administrators, teachers, parents, education and civil rights advocates, and policymakers who are working hard to educate and care for America’s students in this unprecedented time of crisis. It focuses on five important areas requiring attention to ensure student success: distance learning and digital access, delivery of school meals, instruction for students with disabilities, instruction for students experiencing homelessness, and combatting discrimination based on race and national origin, including for English learners.

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Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and Homeless Students

The application requires states to describe the strategies used to serve disadvantaged populations, which explicitly includes students experiencing homelessness, as well as foster care youth, English learners, children with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income students. Given the many urgent needs related to COVID-19, it is unlikely that Governors’ offices will prioritize the needs of students experiencing homelessness without specific advocacy.

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Emergency Financial Aid Grants through the CARES Act

Over $6 billion to institutions of higher education for emergency financial aid grants, to be provided directly to students for expenses related to disruptions in education caused by COVID-19, including course materials and technology, food, housing, health care, and childcare. The guidance from ED does not instruct institutions on how to provide emergency financial aid to students, but does encourage leaders to prioritize those students with the greatest need. Find out how much each institution received, and how to advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and from foster care to be prioritized for assistance.

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“Phase Four” Coronavirus Advocacy Priorities for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness

Congress recently passed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748. Yet lawmakers already are at work on a fourth major legislative package (“Phase Four”) to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act provided significant new resources for education, early care, housing, nutrition, and services. However, those resources are insufficiently targeted to one of the most mobile, vulnerable, and hidden populations: children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. To prevent lasting harm to children, youth, and families - and to prevent adult homelessness - SchoolHouse Connection urges Congress to include specific supports through efficient, existing service-delivery systems and programs in the next coronavirus legislative package.

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Third Major Coronavirus Legislation Enacted: Includes New Funding to Support Homeless Children and Youth

On Friday, March 27, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748. Additional emergency aid bills are expected in future months. H.R. 748 represents a $2 trillion package that includes a wide range of funding and policy measures to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including to address the early care, education, and emergency housing needs of children, youth, and families. A summary of these provisions is provided here.

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