$24M available to help Pa. schools identify and support homeless children and youth

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will release more than $24 million to identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and make it easier for students to participate in in-person instruction and extracurricular activities at school.

“Since taking office, my administration has been committed to supporting all of Pennsylvania’s studentsfrom pre-K to postsecondaryparticularly our most vulnerable students, like those experiencing homelessness,” said Gov. Wolf. “Our commonwealth has a world-class education system, and this funding will ensure that all students are able to access and benefit from our schools, educators, and extracurricular activities.”

The Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funding is a subset of the federal American Rescue Plan Act Emergency and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) program.

The ARP-HCY fund will allocate 25 percent of the funding to the state’s eight McKinney-Vento funded regional offices and the remaining 75 percent will be distributed to school districts and charter schools based on the amount of Title I Part A schools received under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and the number of identified homeless children and youth served during the 2018-219 school year.

Applications and allocations for school districts and charters schools can be found on the PDE Homeless Education website.

“All students should have access to a high-quality education regardless of their background, economic circumstances, or housing arrangement, and homeless students need intentional, strategic support,” said Education Secretary Dr. Noe Ortega. “This critical funding will help students experiencing homelessness access the resources and assistance they need to be a part of their school community, learn, grow, and thrive.”

For the 2019-20 program year, education and community agencies identified 37,930 children and youth experiencing homelessness served by Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program. The population includes children under the age of five and youth enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 12.

Students and families experiencing homelessness can access resources on the PDE website.

Additional information will be forthcoming from PDE’s Division of Student Services, Office of the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

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