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Current Issues in Homeless Education Barbara Duffield National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth 2009 Ohio Homeless Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Current Issues in Homeless Education Barbara Duffield National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth 2009 Ohio Homeless Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Current Issues in Homeless Education Barbara Duffield National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth 2009 Ohio Homeless Education Workshop October 13, 2009

2 NAEHCY Homelessness: Numbers and Trends 10% of all children living in poverty over the course of a year New research: 7% of all fifth graders have lived in a shelter or car (11% for low-income and African American) Nationwide, 794,617 homeless students (preK-12) enrolled in public schools in the school year - 17% increase over previous year Ohio: 14,483 homeless students in

3 NAEHCY Homelessness: Current Numbers and Trends, Continued The economic downturn and foreclosure crisis have had a significant impact on homelessness: according to a national survey, one in five responding school districts reported having more homeless children in the fall of 2008 than over the course of the entire school year.

4 Current Trends in Homeless Living Situations Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence— –Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason [65% of identified students in ; 55% in Ohio] –Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations [Motels: 7% of identified students in ; 4% in Ohio] –Living in emergency or transitional shelters [22% of identified students in ; 39% in Ohio]

5 Awaiting foster care placement Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings Migratory children living in above circumstances Current Trends in Homeless Living Situations

6 Why are So Many Students Doubled- Up? -Shelters are often full; shelters may turn families and youth away, or put them on waiting lists -Shelters do not exist in many suburban and rural areas -Eligibility conditions of shelters often exclude families with boys over the age of 12, or unaccompanied minors -Motels may not be available, or may be too expensive -Youth on their own may fear adult shelters -Shelters often have 30, 60, or 90 day time limits -Families/youth may be unaware of alternatives, fleeing in crisis, living in over-crowded, temporary, and sometimes unsafe environments

7 McKinney-Vento in Law and Practice: Collaboration is Key Local liaisons must coordinate with community agencies to provide referrals to health care services, dental services, and mental health services; and other appropriate services. LEAs must coordinate with State and local housing agencies responsible for developing comprehensive housing affordability strategies Liaisons must, as a part of their duties, coordinate and collaborate with community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths.

8 New Housing Policies to Address Homelessness Protections for renters in foreclosed properties Rewriting of law governing HUD homeless assistance programs

9 Renter Protections Up to 40% of foreclosed properties occupied by renters Most states offer few protections – foreclosure means lease is terminated and tenant can be evicted at any time These evictions are helping to drive current spike in family homelessness

10 Renter Protections “Regular” (not Section 8) tenants –If they have a lease, they can stay until it ends –EXCEPTION – If purchaser will use property as primary residence, 90 days notice can be given even if lease runs longer –If no lease or lease w/ in 90 days of expiring, must be given 90 days notice

11 Renter Protections Section 8 tenants –New owner post foreclosure takes property subject to existing lease between old owner and tenant AND the Section 8 contract between old owner and PHA. So no change post-foreclosure. –EXCEPTION – If purchaser will use property as primary residence, 90 days notice can be given even if lease runs longer

12 Renter Protections Effective immediately Serve as a floor; if current or future state law is better, then that law applies Expire December 31, 2012 –Meant to deal with current crisis

13 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act Complete re-write of law governing HUD homeless programs HUD will have to write new detailed regulations

14 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization When is the new law effective? –Homeless definition – 6 months (11/20/09) –HUD given 12 months to write regulations (5/20/10) –Remainder of bill effective 3 months after final regulations (8/20/10) or 18 months after bill passed (11/20/10) – in case regulations not completed on time

15 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization Amends HUD definition of homeless –In motels if families/youth have resources to stay no more than 14 days –Doubled-up families/youth if they can only stay there for 14 days –Sub-categories of MV education definition (long time, multiple moves, barriers to housing) –Fleeing DV or other dangerous conditions (including for kids) –Needlessly complex, but if providers know rules, many people can be covered –No counts of newly defined homeless persons –Rest of people covered by ED definition are “at risk”

16 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization Housing requirements / incentives –10% of funds for permanent housing for homeless families with children –No disability requirement for permanent housing –30% of funds for permanent housing for disabled individuals or families with disabled head of household –Families can be considered chronically homeless if head of household is disabled and other criteria are met

17 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization Rural communities –Can serve all populations with all interventions, whether “at risk” or “homeless” –Defined as areas with population density of less than 30 per square mile, in states where more than 1.25% of land is federal –Unclear for now what areas are covered; must wait for HUD to determine this

18 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization: Provisions Related to Children and Youth Continuum of Care (CofC) plans must describe collaboration with LEA, including identification and informing of rights 2 years after enactment (5/20/11), no denying shelter based on age unless appropriate alternative living arrangements made Programs providing services to families or youth must designate a staff person to ensure children/youth enrolled in school and receiving services

19 Recently Enacted Legislation: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization: Provisions Related to Children and Youth Agencies must certify they will not restrict the exercise of educational rights Educational needs of children must be taken into account when placed in shelter, placing children, to the maximum extent practicable, close to school of origin

20 Federal Financial Aid Youth who meet the definition of “independent student” can apply for federal aid without parental income information or signature. Unaccompanied homeless youth are automatically considered independent students. –Must be verified as unaccompanied and homeless during the school year when application is submitted. Youth who are unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, and self-supporting are also automatically considered independent students –Must be verified as such during the school year in which the application is submitted.

21 Federal Financial Aid (cont.) Verification must be made by: –a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison –a HUD homeless assistance program director or their designee –a Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee –a financial aid administrator. Youth in foster care and those who aged out of foster care are also automatically considered independent students. Youth who have been in foster care at any time after age 13 will automatically be considered independent students as of July 1, Sample verification template at

22 Supporting Documents FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth FAFSA Tips for Foster Youth Helping Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Access College Financial Aid Income Tax and the FAFSA for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification For the Purposes of Federal Financial Aid 22

23 Application and Verification Guide Located on ED website at If a student does not have, and cannot get, verification from a liaison, RHYA provider, or HUD provider, a financial aid administrator must make a determination of homeless/unaccompanied status This is not an exercise of professional judgment or a dependency override, but should be processed as such for this year; a separate question will be added next year

24 Application and Verification Guide - 2 NCHE’s Determining Eligibility pdf )Determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis (see NCHE’s Determining Eligibility pdf ) pdf pdf A student living in a dormitory who would otherwise be homeless should be considered homeless A student fleeing abuse and living in homeless living situations may be considered homeless even if the parent would provide a place to live

25 Application and Verification Guide - 3 No prescribed documentation for FAA evaluation of living arrangements, but it must demonstrate that student meets the definition Determination may be made on the basis of a documented interview with the student if no written documentation is available FAAs may rely upon a determination from another school that a student met definition Students older than 21 but younger than 24 who would otherwise meet the definition qualify for a dependency override

26 FAFSA Changes New Draft FAFSA available for public comment by November 4 Comments may be submitted electronically through to Draft FAFSA is on the web: FSADraft.html

27 FAFSA Changes Questions on draft FAFSA are for homeless youth Notes define “youth” as 21 or under or still in high school when signed Notes tell youth to answer “no” if they do not have a determination, but do not instruct on how to get a determination from liaison

28 Head Start Reauthorization: Eligibility Homeless children are categorically eligible for Head Start - 42 U.S.C. 9840(a)(1)(B) Verification of homeless living situation suffices for eligibility (i.e. no documentation of income required) o Under McKinney-Vento, determinations of eligibility are case-by-case, individualized (see NCHE brief) NCHE’s Determining Eligibility brief is available at: NCHE’s Determining Eligibility brief is available at:

29 Head Start Reauthorization: Enrollment Requires Secretary of HHS to issue regulations to remove barriers to the enrollment and participation of homeless children, including requiring Head Start agencies: 1) to implement policies and procedures to ensure that homeless children are identified and prioritized for enrollment; 2) to allow families of homeless children to apply to, enroll in, and attend Head Start programs while required documents are obtained within a reasonable time frame; and 3) to coordinate individual Head Start programs with efforts to implement subtitle B of title VIII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

30 New Title I Part A Guidance New guidance issued as part of ARRA guidance on September 4, 2009 Homeless children eligible for Title I regardless of which school they attend To the extent that Title I Part A services increase because of ARRA, the obligation increases to provide services for homeless students in non- participating schools Title I funds may be used for services not ordinarily provided to other Title I services

31 Examples of Title I Services: Items of clothing, particularly if necessary to meet a school’s dress or uniform requirement Clothing and shoes necessary to participate in physical education classes Student fees that are necessary to participate in the general education program Personal school supplies such as backpacks and notebooks Birth certificates necessary to enroll in school Immunizations Food Medical and dental services Eyeglasses and hearing aids

32 Examples of Title I Services: Counseling services Outreach services Extended learning time Tutoring services Parental involvement Fees for AP and IB testing Fees for SAT/ACT testing GED testing for school-age students

33 Principles Guiding the Use Title I Services for Homeless Students: Services must be reasonable and necessary to enable homeless students to take advantage of educational opportunities Fund must be used as a last resource when funds or services are not reasonably available from other public or private sources An individual paid, in whole or in part, with Title I, Part A funds, including Title I, Part A ARRA funds, may also serve as a homeless liaison.

34 McKinney-Vento Funding $65 million in FY2009 $70 million in ARRA funds Pending FY2010 budget: $65 million FY2011? We must carefully document the impact of ARRA funds on our ability to identify and serve homeless children and youth

35 McKinney-Vento EHCY Reauthorization: Status Update Draft legislation introduced in 2007, including H.R. 3205, our “dream bill” No action taken in 2008 due to election 2009: possible action in late fall; more likely early next year

36 Contact Information Barbara Duffield Policy Director National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Phone: Web:


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