Homelessness among children and youth is skyrocketing in every part of the country. Much needs to be done on many levels. Congress will consider important legislation to guarantee access to a stable education for our nation's homeless children and youth: the "Educational Success for Children and Youth Without Homes Act of 2011," H. R. 1253 and S 571.
Features of this bill include:
- Promote school stability for homeless children and youth by improving the "best interest" school selection process and by making transportation to the school of origin an eligible use of Title I Part A setaside funds
- Increase school districts' ability to identify and serve homeless children and youth by providing professional development, training, resources, and time to school district homeless liaisons so they can carry out the duties required by the Act
- Increase homeless children's access to early childhood education programs by addressing barriers to stability and requiring public preschool programs to identify and prioritize homeless children for enrollment
- Improve the academic progress and high school graduation rate of unaccompanied homeless youth by addressing guardianship barriers, credit accrual problems and access to credit recovery opportunities
- Improve homeless children and youth's access to summer school, before and after school programs, and other educational opportunities
- Assist homeless students to participate in the full range of academic support opportunities offered by schools by clarifying that the amount of the Title I, Part A homeless setaside must be based upon a needs assessment that includes objective criteria and is developed in coordination with the school district homeless liaison
Urge your federal representative and senator to co-sponsor this legislation. For more information, click here.
The Educational Success for Children and Youth Without Homes Act of 2011 has been introduced in both the US House and Senate. HR 1253 and S 571 will help to ensure that children and youth who are homeless receive the education that they need to be successful in life.
Over one million children and youth suffer the deprivation of homelessness over the course of a year. This number is growing dramatically as a result of the economic and housing crises. Homeless students face significant barriers to education, including high rates of mobility, inability to meet enrollment requirements, and lack of transportation to maintain school stability. When these barriers are not addressed, these vulnerable youngsters often are unable to attend, or even enroll in, school, which prevents them from obtaining the education that is their best hope for a better future.
Please co-sponsor this critical legislation that addresses these serious issues.