Federal Advocacy & Policy Updates

A strong voice for effective and responsive federal policy.

Featured Posts

November 14, 2019

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. The resolution includes information about the extent and impact of child and youth homelessness, and supports the efforts of businesses, organizations, educators, and volunteers to meet the needs of homeless children and youth.

October 31, 2019

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.

October 29, 2019

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). The Housing for Homeless Students Act would update the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program to allow full-time students to live in LIHTC housing if they’ve experienced homelessness within the last seven years. The bill also includes homeless or formerly homeless veterans pursuing full-time education.

SHC’s Top 2019 Legislative Priorities:

#1 Programs that Provide Targeted Support for Homeless Children and Youth.

#5 School-Housing Partnerships for Homeless Children and Youth.

Policy Posts

 

Federal Funding

June 19, 2019 – House Approves Funding Increase for Homeless Children and Youth

April 1, 2019 – 68 U.S. Representatives Sign Bipartisan Letter for EHCY-RHYA Funding; Take Action for FY20 Funding

March 22, 2019 – Action Needed by March 26: Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

February 19, 2019 – FY2019 Federal Funding Bill Signed Into Law

September 27, 2018 – FY2019 Funding Bill Passes, Signed Into Law

September 17, 2018 – House-Senate Agreement Increases FY2019 Funding for Homeless Education, Early Care

June 29, 2018 – Senate Bill Would Increase Funding for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

April 9, 2018 – Breaking News: Action Needed by April 13 to Support FY2019 Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

March 23, 2018 – Historic Funding Increases for Homeless Children and Youth in FY18 Bill

March 20, 2018 – Record Number of US Reps sign EHCY/RHYA Funding Letter

March 8, 2018 – Breaking News: Action Needed by March 14th to Support Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

February 12, 2018 – Federal Budget Update: FY2018 and FY2019

February 9, 2018 – Disaster Funding for Homeless Students in Budget Deal

December 22, 2017 – Programs that Provide Targeted Funding for Homeless Children and Youth

December 22, 2017 – Disaster Assistance for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

December 19, 2017 – House Appropriations bill includes $25 million in McKinney-Vento funding to help homeless children displaced due to disasters

May 24, 2017 – President’s FY2018 Budget Proposal and Homelessness

May 8, 2017 – Funding Wins in Final FY17 Budget, But FY2018 Uncertain

May 1, 2017 – FY2017 Budget Bill Includes Increased Funding for Homeless Programs

March 9, 2017 – Budget Cuts and Homeless Children and Youth

January 25, 2017 – ESSA Regulations on Hold, Congress Debates Budget

K-12 Education

November 14, 2019

  • U.S. Senate Bipartisan Resolution Recognizes November 2019 as “National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month”
    • U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was joined by eleven other U.S. Senators in sponsoring a bipartisan resolution 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. The resolution includes information about the extent and impact of child and youth homelessness, and supports the efforts of businesses, organizations, educators, and volunteers to meet the needs of homeless children and youth.

August 10, 2018

November 4, 2017

  • Bipartisan Legislation for Education and Employment Introduced
    • On November 3, Reps. Jim Renacci (R-OH), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Seth Moulton (D-MA) introduced the “Preparing Homeless Youth for Education and Employment Act,” bipartisan legislation to provide access to dropout prevention and college and career counseling services to homeless youth.

June 23, 2017

March 13, 2017

March 9, 2017

  • Senate Votes to Rescind ESSA Regulations
    • The U.S. Senate voted today to rescind ESSA regulations related to accountability and state plans by a vote of 50-49 . The measure now will move to the President’s desk for signature. This action will not affect the ESSA amendments made to the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, which are in statute, and are in effect now.

March 8, 2017

February 10, 2017

  • ESSA Regulations Remain in Question, But McKinney-Vento Clarity Emerges
    • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act went into effect on October 1, 2016, yet the fate of subsequent regulations on state plans and accountability under Title I Part A remains in question. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on February 7 to prevent these regulations from taking effect. A Senate resolution is expected soon.

February 7, 2017

February 7, 2017

  • House Passes Resolution to Prevent Implementation of ESSA Accountability Regulations
    • On February 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution (HR 57) introduced by Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN) that would prevent recently-issued regulations on state plans and accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from taking effect. If enacted, this resolution (adopted pursuant to the Congressional Review Act) also would prevent future administrations from promulgating similar rules. It is unclear when a similar resolution will be taken up in the Senate.
Early Care

April 17, 2018

  • Action Needed: Child Care for Families Experiencing Homelessness
    • There is a critical opportunity to increase access to child care through the state planning process. States must submit their Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan for 2019-2021 by June 30, 2018. With a historic $2.37 billion increase in FY2018 CCDF funding – the largest increase in child care funding of all time – it is especially important to find out how you can weigh in to improve child care for families experiencing homelessness.

September 14, 2017

  • The Child Care for Working Families Act (S.1806/H.R. 3773).
    • Summary: The Child Care for Working Families Act is the Democratic proposal on child care and early learning. Under the legislation, no family under 150% of state median income would pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill also supports universal access to preschool programs for all 3- and 4-year old.
    • Current Status: The Child Care for Working Families Act was introduced on September 14, 2017. As of December 2017, it had 29 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate, and 108 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Higher Education

March 13, 2019

December 1, 2017

  •  Fixing the FAFSA for Homeless Youth: Congress Begins HEA Reauthorization with Testimony from a SHC Leader
    • On November 27, the 115th Congress began the reauthorization process for the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The HELP Committee hearing featured testimony from Elaine Williams, a SchoolHouse Connection Young Leader and remarkable advocate for homeless youth in Richmond, VA. Learn about the hearing, the current status of HEA reauthorization, and the critical link between education, employment, and homelessness.

September 13, 2017

April 22, 2017

March 7, 2017

Housing/Homeless Assistance

April 4, 2019

  • Bipartisan Legislation to Help Homeless Children and Youth Reintroduced
    • On April 1, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 2001) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA). This bipartisan legislation corrects long-standing flaws in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homeless assistance for children, youth, and families. Get the facts about the Homeless Children and Youth Act, including frequently asked questions, the full text of the legislation, and a list of supporters.

July 24, 2018

  • A Big Win: House Committee Passes the Homeless Children and Youth Act
    • On July 24, 2018, the House Financial Services Committee passed the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act, H.R. 1511. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), may now be considered by the full House of Representatives. A bipartisan Senate companion bill, S. 611, is led by US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

June 8, 2018

  • House Hearing on Homeless Children and Youth
    • On June 6, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing to review the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 1511). A key topic of the hearing was how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness creates barriers to assisting children, youth, and families who experience homelessness.

October 13, 2017

  • School-Housing Partnership Legislation Introduced
    • On October 12, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation to incentivize housing authorities and school districts to work together to address and prevent family homelessness. The Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration (AHEAD) Act (S. 1949) authorizes $150 million for a new demonstration program to be jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

June 6, 2017

  • New Video Adds Urgency to HUD Homeless Assistance Reform
    • A powerful new film from HEAR US premiered on June 6 at a Congressional briefing sponsored by the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Center on Housing & Child Welfare, and SchoolHouse Connection. Both the film and the Congressional briefing make a strong case for the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 1511/S. 611), bipartisan legislation that addresses long-standing flaws in federal homeless policy, and makes it easier for communities to help children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.

March 27, 2017

March 15, 2017

  • Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Help Homeless Children, Youth, and Families
    • On March 14, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (H.R. 1511/S. 611) was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. This bi-partisan legislation would make it easier for local communities to help children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness, and help put an end to the cycle of homelessness.
Health

October 24, 2018

  • Newly Enacted Opioid Bill Could Help Homeless Children, Youth, and Families
    • On Wednesday, October 24, President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. This sweeping legislation contains many provisions that could help children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness who are impacted by the opioid crisis, as well as provisions to help all children and youth who experience trauma.

April 30, 2018

  • Bipartisan Opioid Bill Includes Child, Youth, and Family Provisions
    • On Tuesday, April 24, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously passed S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. This comprehensive bipartisan bill includes more than 40 proposals from 38 different senators aimed at combating the opioid crisis. Among those proposals are efforts to address the impact of the opioid crisis on children, youth, and families.

Legislative Summaries

    2018 Legislative Highlights

    2018 was a momentous year for our work to ensure that local, state, and federal systems recognize and prioritize the needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.

    > 2018 Legislative Highlights

    2017 Legislative Wrap Up and Looking Ahead to 2018

    The first session of the 115th Congress has come to a close. Many bills on child, youth, and family homelessness were introduced in 2017, and will continue to make their way through the legislative process next year. While issues like tax, immigration, entitlement spending, and welfare reform may have significant impacts on homeless children and youth, we’ve summarized twelve of the bills that affect children and youth experiencing homelessness most directly, starting with SchoolHouse Connection’s top legislative priorities.

    > 2017 Legislative Wrap Up

     

    2016 Legislative Wrap Up and Looking Ahead to 2017

    Welcome to our first legislative and policy post. For our first update, we’ll take a quick look back at 2016, and a longer look forward to 2017.

    > Wrapping up 2016 and Looking Ahead

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