Gov. Wolf announces $24 million available to support homeless children in schools

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HARRISBURG — On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf announced a new education initiative to help students stay in school, especially those whose families are less fortunate.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will release more than $24 million to help schools identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide easier access to 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 number of identified homeless children and youth served during the 2018-219 school year. Another factor will be the funding school received from Title I Part A under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Applications and allocations for school districts and charters schools can be found HERE.

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. This population includes children under the age of five and youth enrolled in Pre-K through 12th grade.

Students and families experiencing homelessness can access resources HERE.

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