In early 2021, The U.S. Department of Education and the federal government allocated 800 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to support the school identification, enrollment, participation, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness. This historical opportunity is to expand and improve systems to identify and support children and youth experiencing homelessness and respond to the heightened needs and challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were released to the states in two phases. Phase I was allocated to the current subgrantees of the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) grant.
ARP HOMELESS I GRANT INFORMATION
ARP HOMELESS II - ENTITLEMENT GRANT INFORMATION
The ARP Homeless II - Entitlement Grant will be available to LEAs in GME on June 1st, 2022.
ARP HOMELESS II - ENTITLEMENT GRANT CONSORTIUM INFORMATION
According to the American Rescue Plan Act, an LEA must have a minimum allocation of $5,000 to receive an ARP Homeless II – Entitlement subgrant. LEAs with an allocation less than $5,000 may receive a subgrant only as part of a consortium. Consortia are eligible to receive a subgrant if the total of their combined allocations is at least $5,000. For the purpose of this grant, a consortium means a subgrantee that consists of more than one LEA. (86 FR 36222).
ARIZONA ARP HOMELESS STATE PLAN
Allowable LEA Uses of ARP-Homeless I and II Funds:
To increase capacity by hiring staff, dedicating resources, and planning partnerships with community-based organizations, among other strategies.
To identify students this spring and to connect students experiencing homelessness and their families to summer learning and enrichment programs this summer (summer 2021), and to engage students and their families in preparation for this fall.
To compete and award contracts to community-based organizations that are well-positioned to identify historically underserved populations such as rural children and youth, Tribal children and youth, students of color, children and youth with disabilities, English learners, and LGBTQ+ youth, and connect them to educationally related support and wraparound services.
For any of the sixteen uses permitted by the McKinney-Vento Act (see 42 U.S.C. 11433(d) and link above).
For any expenses necessary to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, and educational success of homeless children and youth, such as:
providing wraparound services (which could be provided in collaboration with and/or through contracts with community-based organizations, and could include academic supports, trauma-informed care, social-emotional support, and mental health services);
purchasing needed supplies (e.g., PPE, eyeglasses, school supplies, personal care items);
providing transportation to enable children and youth to attend classes and participate fully in school activities;
purchasing cell phones or other technological devices for unaccompanied youth to enable the youth to attend and fully participate in school activities;
providing access to reliable, high-speed internet for students through the purchase of internet-connected devices/equipment, mobile hotspots, wireless service plans, or installation of Community Wi-Fi Hotspots (e.g., at homeless shelters), especially in underserved communities.
To pay for short-term, temporary housing (e.g., a few days in a motel) when such emergency housing is the only reasonable option for COVID-safe temporary housing and when necessary to enable the homeless child or youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities (including summer school).
For store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate in school activities.
Overall, costs must be “reasonable and necessary” and “align with the purpose of, and other requirements in, the EHCY statute.” LEAs also should consider the extraordinary impact of the pandemic on students experiencing homelessness when making decisions about how to use funds.