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During the 2019–20 school year, public schools identified 1.3 million students who were experiencing homelessness—2.5 percent of all those enrolled. With the added $800 million that Congress provided in 2021 through the American Rescue Plan’s Homeless Children and Youth program (ARP-HCY), many states have started or expanded Initiatives to support these students.

Approximately $200 million (ARP-Homeless 1) was allocated in April 2021. States received the remaining $600 million in July (ARP-Homeless 2) and submitted plans for how the funds were to be used. By February 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) had approved all state plans. States must expend the funds by September 30, 2024.

States can retain up to 25 percent of their ARP-HCY funds for state-level activities and must distribute at least 75 percent of the total funds to local education agencies (LEAs). Many activities qualify: identifying homeless students, assessing needs, and providing wraparound services and assistance to help students attend and fully participate in school through partnerships with community-based organizations. Wyoming surveyed districts to garner input on how much of the state set-aside the state education agency (SEA) should retain and glean insights on challenges districts are facing that the SEA should use their set-aside to address. …


States Build Support for Students Who Are Homeless





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