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

Report
Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, NAEHCY
25th Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA
November 4, 2013
1
Current Legislative and Policy Issues
Budget/Sequestration/FY2014
Appropriations
 SNAP (Food Stamps)
 ESEA Reauthorization (McKinney-Vento and
Title I)
 Child Care Development Block Grant
Reauthorization
 Higher Education Act reauthorization
 SNAP and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
 Missing Children’s Assistance Act
2
reauthorization

Federal Budget: Budget, Sequestration,
FY2014 Appropriations
 Last year, Congress failed to reach an
agreement on how to reduce the deficit by at
least $1.2 trillion
 Sequestration resulted in a 5.5% across-theboard cut to FY2013 funding (school year
2013-2014)
 McKinney-Vento funding is now funded $61.7
million
3
Federal Budget: Budget, Sequestration,
FY2014 Appropriations
 Agreement to re-open the government includes a
House-Senate budget conference committee
charged with making recommendations for a budget
resolution that sets overall numbers for
discretionary and mandatory funding, and revenue
for FY2014
 The report is due by December 13
 Appropriators must make funding decisions for
individual programs, or implement sequestration, by
January 15
4
Federal Budget: Budget, Sequestration,
FY2014 Appropriations
If the budget conference committee agrees on
levels, appropriators will have until January 15 to
make decisions on individual programs
 If sequestration continues, there will be more
across-the-board cuts to education, housing, and
homeless programs
 If an alternative to sequestration is found,
appropriations committees will set individual
program funding levels to comply with budget caps

5
What’s at Stake for Children,
Youth, and Families
 McKinney-Vento and other education
programs, as well as homeless and housing
programs, subject to more cuts (across-theboard and/or individual)
 Income and health programs that keep people
in housing subject also to cuts
 End result = more child and youth
homelessness, and less support to help them
out of homelessness
6
Federal Budget Action Steps
 Communicate the value of homeless
programs, and the impact of cuts
 Visits during weekends or Congressional
recesses are ideal, but calls/letters NOW
Children’s Defense Fund alert:
 http://www.childrensdefense.org/takeaction/online.html
7
SNAP (Food Stamps)
 Good news: new USDA guidance on
unaccompanied Youth and SNAP
 Bad news: House and Senate are working on a
final version of the Farm bill
 House bill cuts $40 billion from SNAP; lowincome working families lose benefits,
children lose school meals
ACTION NEEDED NOW
 www.feedingamerica.org
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McKinney-Vento, Title I, and
Elementary and Secondary Education A
Reauthorization
Reauthorization is the opportunity to make
substantive changes to the law
 Congress has been working on this legislation
since 2007, but partisan differences and other
Congressional priorities have prevented it from
moving forward
 Major action in 2007, 2011, and 2013
 Even with Congressional staff changes, old
drafts are often used as starting points

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Major Issues in ESEA Reauthorization



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




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
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
10
Elementary and Secondary Act Reauthorization

S. 1094, “Strengthening America’s Schools
Act,” passed out of Senate HELP Committee
 Contains most of NAEHCY’s recommendations
for amending McKinney-Vento and Title I

H.R. 5, “Student Success Act,” passed the
full House on July 19
 Contains some of NAEHCY’s recommendations

See www.naehcy.org for more details
11
Foster Care and ESEA: Senate Bill
Creates a new section of Title I for all youth in
foster care
 Requires SEA and state child welfare agency to
develop a plan for school of origin stability and
immediate enrollment
 Requires LEAs and child welfare agencies to
collaborate to develop a plan on transportation
within one year of enactment
 LEAs provide transportation if the child welfare
reimburses the LEA, or LEA agrees to split or
provide transportation

12
Foster Care and ESEA: Senate Bill, Contd.
Points of contact for foster youth required only
if child welfare provides written notice that it
has an education coordinator. Foster point of
contact must be different than homeless liaison
in “high needs” LEAs. Homeless state
coordinators can never be the same as foster
care state coordinator
 “Awaiting foster care placement” removed
within two years of enactment

13
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

14
Child Care Reauthorization, 1


Senate HELP Committee passed S. 1086, a bipartisan
CCDF reauthorization bill, on September 18
Requires States to:
 Establish a grace period that allows homeless children to
receive child care while their families take action to comply
with immunization and other health and safety
requirements
 Use funds for activities that improve access to child care
services, including procedures to permit immediate
enrollment of homeless children while required
documentation is obtained, training and technical
assistance on identifying and serving homeless children
and their families, and specific outreach to homeless
families
15
Child Care Reauthorization, 2
Requires States to:

 Coordinate services with programs serving homeless
children, and with school district homeless liaisons for
homeless children and youths
 Establish a sliding fee scale that is not a barrier to
families receiving federal child care assistance.
 Requires that children who initially qualify for child
care receive it for at least a year, and that parents
have opportunity to prove continued eligibility.

House may take up CCDF in Spring or Summer
16
Child Care Reauthorization, 3
Missing from the Senate bill:



Definition of homelessness consistent with Head
Start, McKinney-Vento education
Categorical eligibility for all homeless families
who meet income guidelines
Plan to meet the need of homeless families
17
New Guidance on Head Start and Child Care
In January, HHS issued information to all Head
Start programs and state child care directors
 Information re-states the law, offers suggestions
for coordinating with liaisons and providing
services
 May be useful in building or renewing
partnerships
 Information may be downloaded
at:http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/news/
expanding-ece-for-homeless-children

18
Higher Education and Unaccompanied
Homeless Youth
 Unaccompanied homeless youth added to
FAFSA in 2007 reauthorization; homeless
students added to TRIO and GEAR UP in
2008
 Some progress, but continuing barriers…
19
FAFSA Statistics
 Highest number of homeless applicants (CA,
TX, IL, MI, WA, FL, OR, NY, OH, MO, CO)
 Applicants indicating homelessness on
FAFSA through liaison, RHYA, HUD
 2011-2012 – 25,953
 2012-2013 – 27,492
 Total number of FAFSA applicants with any
homelessness indication (liaison, RHYA,
HUD, or FAA)
 2011-2012 – 53,705
 2012-2013 – 58,151
20
Barriers Reported by LEA Homeless Liaisons
50.0%
45.7%
45.0%
40.0%
35.0%
29.6%
30.0%
25.0%
18.4%
20.0%
15.2%
15.2%
15.0%
12.6%
9.4%
10.0%
9.4%
9.0%
8.1%
5.0%
0.9%
0.0%
Series1
A er a
student’s
first year,
financial aid
No barriers
office
encountered
required
burdensome
documenta
on
45.7%
29.6%
Financial aid
office
unaware of
policies for
unaccompan
ied homeless
youth
18.4%
Financial aid
No appeal
Financial aid
22 and 23
office
process if
Financial aid
office would
year old
office
required
financial aid
Don’t know
not accept a
homeless
who to
insensi ve/ student to
office refuses
statement
students
contact for
in mida ng
obtain
to accept
from a
must ask for
youth’s
help at ED
to students/ addi onal
school
dependency
providers documenta
homeless
liaison
override
on
status
15.2%
15.2%
12.6%
9.4%
9.4%
9.0%
0.0%
Financial aid Financial aid
When we
office would office would
contacted
not accept a not accept a
ED, they did
statement
statement
not help
from other
from a
resolve the
agency/
homeless
situa on
person
provider
8.1%
0.9%
0.0%
NAEHCY Survey: Liaisons
What Barriers Have You Encountered in Assis ng Unaccompanied
Barriers Reported by LEA Homeless Liaisons
Homeless Youth to Access Financial Aid?
50.0%
60.0%
45.0%
45.7%
53.3%
40.0%
50.0%
35.0%
30.0%
40.0%
29.6%
20.0%
30.0%
36.0%
35.8%
25.0%
29.6%
18.4%
15.2%
15.2%
15.0%
12.6%
9.4%
10.0%
20.0%
9.4%
9.0%
8.1%
5.0%
0.9%
0.0%
10.0%
After a
student’s first Financial aid
office
year,
financial aid unaware of
No barriers
policies for
office
encountered
0.0%
required unaccompani
A er a student’s
first year,ed
financial
burdensome
homeless
youth
documentati
aid office required
burdensome
on on
documenta
Series1
45.7%
29.6%
18.4%
Public Schools
Financial aid
Financial aid
office
office
required
Don’t know
insensitive/in student to
who to
timidating to
obtain
contact for
students/pro
additional
help
at ED
Financial
aid office
required
student
viders
documentati
to obtain addi onal
on documenta on
15.2%
15.2%
Service Providers
12.6%
No appeal
22 and 23
process if
Financial aid
financial aid year old
office would
office
homeless
not accept a
refuses to students must
statement
ask for
accept
from a aid office required student
Financial
youth’s
dependency
school liaison
overrideon
to obtain addihomeless
onal documenta
status
9.4%
9.4%
9.0%
College Access
0.0%
Financial aid Financial aid
When we
office would office would
contacted
not accept a not accept a
ED, they did
statement
statement
not help
from other
from a
Student couldhomeless
not provideresolve
addi the
onal
agency/pers
situation
on
provider
documenta
on (evidence of past
abuse, police reports, CPS reports,
8.1% death,
0.9%
0.0%
parental
proof of residence,
etc.).
Financial Aid
Higher Education Act Reauthorization

We expect a stand-alone Senate bill soon to:
 Clarify that youth under age 24 who are determined to be
unaccompanied and homeless are considered independent
students;
 Expand the entities authorized to make determinations of
unaccompanied homeless youth status to include private
and publicly funded shelters and homeless service
programs, TRIO programs, and GEAR-UP programs;
 Require financial aid administrators to make
determinations of unaccompanied homeless youth status
for youth who cannot get determinations from other
authorities
23
HEA Bill for Homeless/Foster, 2
 Eliminate the requirement for unaccompanied homeless
youths’ status to be re-determined every year. Creates a
presumption that these students will continue to be
independent unless the student’s circumstances have
changed, or the financial aid administrator has
conflicting information; and
 Require the Student Loan Ombudsman to receive,
review and expeditiously resolve complaints regarding
the independent student status of homeless and foster
youth
 Providing homeless and foster youth in-state tuition to
reduce barriers to college attendance due to lack of
financial support;
24
HEA Bill for Homeless/Foster, 3
Prioritizing homeless and foster youth for the federal work
study program
 Designate a single point of contact to assist homeless and
foster youth to access and complete higher education;
 Post public notice about financial and other assistance
available to homeless and foster youth;
 Develop a plan to assist homeless and foster youth to access
housing resources during and between academic terms; and
 Include in applications questions about homeless or foster
status, that youth can answer voluntarily to receive
assistance accessing financial aid and other resources.

25
HEA Bill for Homeless/Foster, 4
Require TRIO and GEAR-UP Programs to:




Identify, conduct outreach to, and recruit homeless and
foster youth, in collaboration with child welfare agencies,
homeless service providers, and school district homeless
liaisons;
Include information on homeless and foster youth in outcome
criteria and data collection;
Review and revise policies to remove barriers to the
participation of homeless and foster youth; and
Describe successful outreach activities and strategies to meet
the needs of homeless and foster youth
26
SNAP and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Liaisons reported many barriers; youth turned away
for lack of guardian, address, and age
 NAEHCY and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
met with SNAP in January
 Policy clarification issued to regional offices in May
 There is no age minimum for food benefits; No
parent signature is required; and food benefits
cannot be denied due to lack of address or photo ID.
Eligibility is based on the
“household”http://www.naehcy.org/educationalresources/food

27
Missing Children’s Act Reauthorization




Passed House and Senate in September 2013, and
presented to the President on Sept. 27
Funds the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children
Requires the Center to coordinate with USICH to ensure
that homeless service professionals are aware of the
resources and assistance available
Include educational stakeholders and homeless service
providers in the list of recipients of the Department of
Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention (OJJDP) education and prevention activities
28
Contact Information
Barbara Duffield, Policy Director
NAEHCY
Phone: 202.364.7392
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.naehcy.org
Legislative Email Updates: www.naehcy.org
29

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