Feds award $600 million to support services for homeless students

Funds can be used to purchase schools supplies, provide transportation and connect students to the internet
By: | July 29, 2021
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States and districts can no have $600 million to fund wraparound services to help students experiencing homelessness overcome COVID’s impacts, stay in school and participate in school-related activities.

The U.S. Department of Education this week awarded $600 million in American Rescue Plan Act Homeless Children and Youth funds to states on July 28, following an earlier $200 million allocation of funds in April.

“Even before the coronavirus pandemic highlighted and exacerbated inequities in America’s education system, students experiencing homelessness faced numerous challenges as they strove to learn and achieve in school each day. Amid COVID-19 and the transition to remote and hybrid learning, for so many students, these challenges intensified,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

“As a nation, we must do everything we can to ensure that all students—including students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity—are able to access an excellent education.”

ED invited states to submit streamlined applications for the $600 million tranche of ARP-HCY funds on July 6 and said all state applications have been approved as of July 28.

In a rule published at 86 Fed. Reg. 36,222 (2021), the department clarified that state educational agencies could use 25 percent of ARP-HCY funding for state-determined activities, with the remaining 75 percent of funding to be distributed to local educational agencies via the Title I, Part A funding formula.

These funds can be used by SEAs and LEAs to identify children and youths who are experiencing homelessness for wraparound services that address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as attend school and participate in school-related activities. Funds can also be used to:

  • Purchase items such as school supplies, eyeglasses, personal protective equipment, and other personal care items necessary for students to participate in school.
  • Pay for transportation to school and school-related events.
  • Purchase cellphones or other technology that allows homeless students to participate in school activities.
  • Provide high-speed internet access through mobile or community hotspots, wireless service plans, and connected devices and equipment.
  • Provide short-term temporary housing on an emergency basis.
  • Provide store cards or prepaid debit cards to purchase personal materials needed for participation in school activities.

State-by-state

Following is a state-by-state breakdown of ARP-HCY funding:

  • Alabama: $13,239,031
  • Alaska: $2,350,009
  • Arizona: $16,922,395
  • Arkansas: $8,213,312
  • California: $98,757,695
  • Colorado: $7,643,776
  • Connecticut: $7,247,850
  • Delaware: $2,691,098
  • District of Columbia: $2,531,300
  • Florida: $46,127,238
  • Georgia: $27,849,370
  • Hawaii: $2,701,880
  • Idaho: $2,882,705
  • Illinois: $33,129,062
  • Indiana: $13,072,898
  • Iowa: $5,075,905
  • Kansas: $5,443,402
  • Kentucky: $13,281,817
  • Louisiana: $17,075,605
  • Maine: $2,694,822
  • Maryland: $12,787,274
  • Massachusetts: $11,994,087
  • Michigan: $24,378,753
  • Minnesota: $8,655,053
  • Mississippi: $10,664,254
  • Missouri: $12,822,529
  • Montana: $2,502,430
  • Nebraska: $3,577,701
  • Nevada: $7,025,680
  • New Hampshire: $2,296,237
  • New Jersey: $18,118,225
  • New Mexico: $6,416,504
  • New York: $58,910,436
  • North Carolina: $23,588,229
  • North Dakota: $1,999,979
  • Ohio: $29,308,662
  • Oklahoma: $9,788,535
  • Oregon: $7,346,860
  • Pennsylvania: $32,748,656
  • Puerto Rico: $19,438,068
  • Rhode Island: $2,719,153
  • South Carolina: $13,841,864
  • South Dakota: $2,502,430
  • Tennessee: $16,303,363
  • Texas: $81,388,454
  • Utah: $4,033,829
  • Vermont: $1,868,242
  • Virginia: $13,825,002
  • Washington: $12,140,633
  • West Virginia: $4,990,123
  • Wisconsin: $10,097,813
  • Wyoming: $1,989,772

Charles Hendrix covers education funding and other Title I issues for LRP Publications.