News and Updates

 

President’s FY2021 Budget Proposal Threatens Educational Protections for Homeless Children and Youth

On February 10, 2020, President Trump released his FY2021 budget proposal. The proposal is just that - a proposal. Congress, and in particular the Appropriations Committees, have the power and the responsibility to determine the actual funding that is appropriated each year for federal programs. Please take one minute now to send a letter to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to urge them to support the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY program) and Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs in the fiscal year 2021 budget.

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2019 Legislative Recap and 2020 Outlook

Many bills on child, youth, and family homelessness were introduced in the first session of the 116th Congress, and will continue to make their way through the legislative process next year. We’ve briefly summarized the status of eight of the bills that impact children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness most directly, starting with SchoolHouse Connection’s top legislative priorities.

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The Pitfalls of HUD’s Point-in-Time Count

On December 20, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released data ahead of its 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR), boasting decreases in family and youth homelessness. This assertion was challenged by providers who work directly with families and youth, including early childhood programs and educators, who see a very different reality. This short article explains why HUD’s data are flawed and misleading, and why other federal data sources provide a more accurate picture of child, youth, and family homelessness.

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Congress Passes Final FY2020 Federal Budget

On Thursday, December 19, the Senate passed the final FY2020 appropriations bills, H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865, sending them on to the President for his signature. The two federal programs specifically targeted to support children and youth experiencing homelessness received funding increases in the final legislation, as did other vital early care, education, and housing programs.

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The Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration Act of 2019

On December 10, 2019, the Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration Act of 2019 (the AHEAD Act, S. 3011) was introduced to provide funding to help school districts, housing authorities, and community partners to collaborate in unprecedented ways to address children’s education and housing needs in a coordinated fashion. Please take one minute to help school districts, housing authorities and our local communities address the unique needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

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U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing November 2019 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month”

On November 14, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and cosponsored by twelve other U.S. Senators, recognizing November 2019 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month.” It is the first resolution to recognize both child and youth homelessness, from infancy to young adulthood.

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House Committee Passes Higher Education Bill with Provisions to Help Homeless and Foster Youth

On Thursday, October 31, the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) was voted out of the House Education and Labor Committee by a vote of 28-22. It is a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that also includes many provisions to remove barriers to higher education for youth experiencing homelessness and youth from foster care, including those in the bipartisan Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act (S.789/H.R. 1724), or HEASHFY. Learn more and take action.

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Help Homeless Youth Access Housing and Pursue Education

On Monday, October 28, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the Housing for Homeless Students Act, H.R. 4865. H.R. 4865 is the House companion bill to bipartisan Senate legislation, S.767, introduced earlier this year by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Angus King (I-ME). Learn more and take one minute to contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative so that homeless youth don’t have to choose between a place to live, and the education that is their best hope of a brighter, more secure future.

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Senator Alexander Introduces FAFSA Simplification Bill

On Thursday, September 26, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, introduced the Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019, S.2557. The legislation bundles together eight different bills to amend parts of the Higher Education Act (HEA), including FAFSA and financial aid award letter simplification, as well as Pell Grant expansion. 

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