What`s Hot and What`s Not: A Federal Policy Update

Report
What’s Hot and What’s Not:
A Federal Policy Update
Barbara Duffield, Policy Director
National Association for the Education of Homeless
Children & Youth
24th Annual Conference
Albuquerque, NM
October 28, 2012
Federal Budget: Sequestration
• Last year, Congress failed to reach an agreement
on how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2
trillion
• As a result, 8-10% across-the-board spending cuts
will take effect on January 2, 3013 unless
Congress acts
• This process, called sequestration, would result
in a $4 billion cut for ED programs
• For more info: Coalition on Human Needs www.chn.org
McKinney-Vento Funding: Current Status
• Six-month “Continuing Resolution” to keep
government running until after the election
• Current level: $65.2 million
• This funding has not changed significantly in four
years, while the number of homeless students in
preK-12 has increased by 57% over the same time
period
McKinney-Vento EHCY Reauthorization:
“Stand Alone” Bills
• Reauthorization is the opportunity to make
substantive changes to the law
• March 2011: S. 571, “The Educational
Success for Children and Youth Without
Homes Act of 2011” introduced in U.S.
Senate (Murray/Franken/Begich)
• March 2011: H.R. 1253, introduced in U.S.
House (Biggert/Kildee/Grijalva)
McKinney-Vento EHCY Reauthorization:
Status Update
• US Senate: Committee passed ESEA
reauthorization, including MV, in October
2011
• US House: passed piece-meal ESEA bills,
including MV, in March 2012.
• The fate of provisions in these bills
depends on outcome of election and
priorities of Administration/Congress
Major Issues in M-V EHCY
Reauthorization
• McKinney-Vento Personnel: State Coordinators
and Local Liaisons
• School Stability Provisions (“Feasibility”)
• Enrollment
• Transportation
• Disputes
• Credits/Academic Support
• Extra-curricular activities
• Unaccompanied Youth
• Preschool Children
• Funding Level
• Title I, Part A Setasides
• Children and Youth in Foster Care
McKinney-Vento Personnel:
State Coordinators, Local Liaisons
Issues: lack of time; lack of training; lack of
resources
Senate Committee ESEA bill:
– Local liaisons designated by LEAs must have
“sufficient training and time” to carry out their
duties.
– State coordinators must have “sufficient knowledge,
authority, and time” to carry out their duties.
House Committee ESEA bill:
–
–
No language on liaisons
State coordinators must be able to “sufficiently
carry out their duties”
School Selection Provisions
Issues: “to the extent feasible” weakens law
Senate and House Committee ESEA bills:
– Presumption that school of origin is in best interest,
unless
• Against parent/guardian/youth wishes
• Best interest determination based on student-centered factors -
including the impact of mobility on achievement, education,
health, and safety of homeless children and youth - weighs in
favor of local enrollment
– The best interest determination must prioritize the wishes of
parent or youth
– If the LEA determines school of origin is not in the best
interest, guardian, youth: written notice/appeal must be
provided
Enrollment and Record Provisions
Issues: barriers remain pertaining to fees and records
Senate Committee ESEA bill:
– Clarifies immediate enrollment, even if student
owes fees or is unable to pay fees in school
selected, or student has missed application or
enrollment deadlines during any period of
homelessness
– Clarifies records must be released even if student
owes fees or is not withdrawn in accordance with
local procedures
House Committee ESEA bill:
– Clarifies immediate enrollment, even if the
student has missed application or enrollment
deadlines during any period of homelessness.
Transportation Provisions
Issues: lack of funding creates
implementation problems; McKinney-Vento
subgrants don’t reach all LEAs
Senate and House Committee ESEA bills:
– Explicitly authorize Title I Part A to be used
for transportation to school of origin
Academic Support, Extra-Curricular
Activities
Senate Committee ESEA bill (no House provisions):
• States must have procedures to ensure that homeless
children and youth who meet the relevant eligibility criteria
are able to participate in Federal, State, or local beforeand after-school care, magnet schools, summer schools,
career and technical education, advanced placement online
learning opportunities, charter school programs, and
relevant workforce investment programs.
• SEAs and LEAs must adopt policies and practices to promote
school success, including access to full participation in
academic and extra-curricular activities that are made
available to non-homeless students.
Credit Accrual
Issue: Youth lose credits due to mobility, late enrollment
Senate Committee ESEA bill:
• States must have procedures to ensure that homeless
youth receive credit for coursework satisfactorily
completed while attending a prior school and for work
completed after their enrollment in a new school,
consistent with State graduation requirements and
accreditation standards.
House Committee ESEA bill: no provisions
Public Notice
Senate Committee ESEA bill:
Local liaisons must ensure that public notice of the educational
rights of homeless children and youth is:
– incorporated into documents related to residency
requirements or enrollment;
– provided upon school enrollment and withdrawal;
– posted on the local educational agency's website; and
Senate and House Committee ESEA bills
– disseminated in locations frequented by parents or
guardians of such children and youth, and
unaccompanied youth, including schools, shelters, public
libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form
understandable to parents and guardians of homeless
children and youth, and unaccompanied youth.
Privacy
Senate and House Committee ESEA bills:
• Schools must treat information about a homeless child
or youth’s living situation as a student education
record, and may not release this information to
housing providers, employers, law enforcement
personnel, or other persons not authorized.
Senate Committee ESEA bill
• Schools must pay particular attention to preventing
disruption of the living situations of homeless children
and youth, and supporting the safety of children and
youth who are survivors of domestic violence, and
unaccompanied youth.
Unaccompanied homeless youth
Issues: concerns about liability, FAFSA verification
Senate and House Committee ESEA bills:
• Requires local liaisons to ensure that unaccompanied homeless
youth:
– Are enrolled in school;
– have opportunities to meet the same college and career ready
State student academic achievement standards which other
students are held (including through the credit accrual and
school success provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act – Senate
bill); and
– are informed of their status as independent students for
financial aid and receive verification for the FAFSA.
• Protects school districts from liability for enrolling an
unaccompanied homeless youth in accordance with the McKinneyVento Act.
Preschool Children
• Issues: MV’s reach is narrow; lack of capacity, fragmented nature
of early childhood programming creates barriers
Senate Committee ESEA bill (no House provisions):
• Requires preschool programs funded, administered, or overseen
by State agencies to identify and prioritize homeless preschool
children for enrollment, including through reserving slots,
conducting targeted outreach, waiving application deadlines,
professional development, and developing the capacity to serve
all homeless children
Funding
Senate Committee ESEA bill:
• Authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” for
FY2012 and each of the six successive years.
House Committee ESEA bill:
• Authorizes $65 million for FY2013, and increases for
FY2014-2018 by a percentage equal to the percentage
of inflation according to the Consumer Price Index
Title I Part A: Set-asides
Issues: too many “loopholes” in law; problematic
interpretations from ED
Senate ESEA Bill:
• The setaside amount must be based on a needs assessment
that includes information on child, youth and family
homelessness in the LEA obtained through collaboration
with other agencies, as well as the number of homeless
children and youth the LEA identified the previous year.
House Committee ESEA Bill:
• The setaside amount may be based on a needs assessment
Title I Part A: Set-asides
Issues: too many “loopholes” in law; problematic
interpretations from ED
Senate ESEA Bill:
• Specifically authorizes funds reserved for homeless children and
youth under Title I to be used for local liaisons, transportation to
the school of origin, services for preschool children and high
school students, and removing barriers to homeless students’
enrollment, attendance, retention, and success in school.
House Committee ESEA Bill:
• Specifically authorizes funds reserved for homeless children and
youth under Title I to be used transportation to the school of
origin; for non-participating schools, may be used for removing
barriers to homeless students’ enrollment, attendance,
retention, and success in school.
Children and Youth in Foster Care
Consensus: School of origin rights and immediate
enrollment for foster youth should be included in ESEA
(reciprocal mandates to Fostering Connections, which
requires child welfare agencies to coordinate with
school districts on stability and enrollment)
Controversy and conflicts:
• Transportation – Is it required? Who pays?
• Liaisons for foster youth – Are they required? How to
ensure that this requirement doesn’t result in less
time, attention, and services for homeless children
and youth?
Children and Youth in Foster Care
Senate Committee ESEA Bill:
Creates a new section of Title I Part A that:
Requires State Education Agencies (SEAs) to collaborate with
state child welfare agencies to ensure that:
– Children and youth in foster care remain in their school
of origin unless it is not in their best interest, and to be
immediately enrolled in a new school if that is in their
best interest;
– Records are immediately transferred to a new school;
– Graduation and achievement data on youth in foster
care are disaggregated; and
– Foster youth receive credit for work done satisfactorily
in a previous school.
Children and Youth in Foster Care
Senate Committee ESEA Bill:
• Requires SEAs to enter into an agreement with the
state child welfare agency within a year of enactment
to ensure that children and youth in foster care
receive transportation to their schools of origin.
• The agreement must describe 1) how foster care
maintenance payments will be used to help fund the
transportation of children in foster care to their
schools of origin, and 2) how children who leave foster
care will receive transportation to maintain their
enrollment in their schools of origin for the remainder
of the academic year, if remaining in their schools of
origin is in their best interests.
Children and Youth in Foster Care
Senate Committee ESEA Bill:
• Requires that each SEA and every LEA that receives
Title I Part A funding designate an individual to serve
as a point of contact for child welfare agencies. The
point of contact is responsible for overseeing the
implementation of the new foster care education
requirements.
• The foster care point of contact cannot be the
McKinney-Vento homeless education coordinator,
unless that individual has the capacity, resources, and
time to perform both roles.
• Creates a new setaside under Title I Part A for
children and youth in foster care to help fund the
position of LEA “point of contacts” for foster youth.
Housing and Homeless Youth
• Low Income Housing Tax Credit Housing
• “Student Rule” – prohibits residents from living in
LIHTC housing if they are full-time students
• Foster youth, single mothers, parents on cash
assistance are exempted from this rule
• Unaccompanied homeless youth are not; forced to
choose between housing and education
• Congressman McDermott (D-WA) and Paulsen (R-MN)
introduced legislation, H.R. 3076, that adds UHY to
exemptions
• Senators Franken (D-MN) and Murray (D-WA) introduced
companion legislation, S. 3494, in July 2012
Child Care and Homeless Families
• Barriers to child care for homeless families,
include mobility, lack of paperwork, lack of
outreach and identification, and fees
• Without quality child care, homeless families
struggle to find employment and stay homeless
longer
• Without quality child care, homeless children
are often in substandard arrangements
• Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) –
opportunities in reauthorization
Child Care and Homeless Families
• In August 2012, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
introduced the Improving Access to Child Care
for Homeless Families Act, S. 3476
The legislation:
• Prioritizes homeless children for access to child
care.
• Allows for a homeless child to enroll in child
care immediately while necessary entry
documentation is obtained.
• Ensures that co-pay requirements are not a
barrier to child care for homeless families
Child Care and Homeless Families (2)
S. 3476 also:
• Requires states to describe in their state child
care plan how they will meet the needs of
homeless families.
• Requires lead agencies to coordinate with
McKinney-Vento school district liaisons and
other entities serving homeless families
• Establishes a pilot program for increasing
access to child care
What is HEARTH?
• The Homeless Emergency Assistance and
Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009?
• Framework for how HUD’s homeless
programs will operate in foreseeable
future.
• New focus areas – more homelessness
prevention, less emergency shelter;
more permanent housing, less
transitional housing.
• Homeless definition slightly expanded
28
HEARTH Terms - What is a
Continuum of Care (CoC)?
• Government agencies, nonprofit service
providers, advocates, and homeless /
formerly homeless persons working
together to end homelessness in a local
community or in a larger rural area of a
particular state.
• Should you be part of the CoC?
You are the voice for the kids and families you
work with! Don’t assume someone else is.
29
Defining Homelessness
• HUD – streets, emergency shelter, transitional
housing
• ED – includes staying with others or in motels
because there is nowhere else to go
• Under HEARTH, all who fit ED definition are
considered “at risk,” and will be eligible for
prevention assistance.
• Under HEARTH, 3 new categories added to
HUD definition; will be eligible for full range of
homeless assistance.
30
HUD Definition – HEARTH Additions
• People losing housing within 14 days
(including staying with others, or in a
motel), if no resources and no subsequent
permanent place.
• Families and youth defined as homeless by
ED, if they have not been in permanent
housing for a long time, have moved
frequently, and can be expected to stay in
that situation.
• Individuals / families fleeing DV or other
dangerous / life threatening conditions
31
HUD Definition – Regulations (1)
People losing housing within 14 days
(including staying with others, or in a motel),
if no resources and no subsequent
permanent place:
• To prove this, the HUD is requiring that
people provide written proof of
eviction or obtain a statement from
the owner or renter of the place where
they are staying
32
HUD Definition – Regulations (2)
People who are staying with other people
are eligible for homeless assistance must
prove that:
1)they moved twice in 60 days, AND
2)they did not have permanent housing
for those 60 days, AND
3)that they have several conditions that
would keep them without permanent
housing for a long time. Each of these
conditions requires verification.
33
HUD Definition – Regulations (3)
People who pay to stay in motels are not
eligible for homeless assistance, unless :
1)they can prove that they only have
money to stay for 14 days or less, and
2)have no subsequent permanent place
to go, and
3)no support networks needed to obtain
other housing.
34
HR32: The Homeless
Children and Youth Act
• Amends HUD definition of
homelessness to include
children/youth verified by public
schools, Head Start, IDEA Part C, and
RHYA programs
• Requires these children and youth
and their families to be counted
• www.helphomelesskidsnow.org
35
What about Head Start, USDA,
and FAFSA?
• Still waiting on Head Start regulations (law
passed December 2007; proposed regulations
on verifying eligibility and comment period
closed June 2011).
• Still waiting on final school meals rule; USDA
issued interim rule (law passed in 2004;
comment period closed October 2012).
• “Application and Verification Guide” for FAFSA
updated every year; no changes to
unaccompanied homeless youth provisionss
What is advocacy?
• Dictionary definition: “The act of pleading
or arguing in favor of something, such as a
cause, idea, or policy; active support.”
• Client and program advocacy - you do it
every day!
• Legislative and policy advocacy - attempt
to create changes in systems and policies
that impact many people
Why get involved in policy advocacy?
• Good policies are informed policies
• No one else knows what you know - no
one else is likely to take up these
issues
• Children and youth experiencing
homelessness are invisible to the
public and to policymakers
• As a constituent, you have the most
power to effect change
Advocacy v. Lobbying
• Lobbying: activities that ask legislators to
take a specific position on a specific piece of
legislation, or urge others to do the same
(IRS definition for non-profits)
• Advocacy: any activity that a person or
organization undertakes to influence policy includes educating, providing information,
arguing a cause
What if I can’t lobby?
• Check to be sure that you can’t; be mindful
of the narrow, specific definition of lobbying
• Find others to “make the pitch” for you, but
stay engaged in general advocacy activities
• Act as a private individual - you don’t lose
your rights as a citizen just because you
work for government
Where do I begin?
• It’s all about relationships!
• Know who represents your community
or communities and school district:
www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
• Make it part of your work plan to
develop an ongoing relationship with at
minimum of one or two Congressional
offices
How do I stay in the loop?
• NAEHCY legislative list - give me your
card, or write your email address on a
piece of paper, or email me at
[email protected]
• NAEHCY web site: www.naehcy.org

similar documents