Padilla Announces Nearly $100 million in American Rescue Plan Funding for California Students Experiencing Homelessness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that California will receive nearly $100 million to support the needs of students experiencing homelessness as part of the American Rescue Plan, which Padilla voted to pass and President Joe Biden signed into law in March.
California K-12 schools reported 194,709 students were experiencing homelessness in the 2019 – 2020 school year. However, a state audit from 2019 found that schools tend to undercount homeless students.
“As the pandemic forced many schools to move to distance learning, the challenges faced by students experiencing homelessness only grew,” Senator Padilla said. “How can we expect students to succeed when they’re worried about where they’ll sleep, what they’ll eat, and how they’ll connect to the classroom? I applaud Secretary Cardona for recognizing the urgent need to start distributing funding to help educators identify and support students experiencing homelessness. I hope to see these funds used to provide after-school and summer programs that are critical for students experiencing homelessness.”
The U.S. Department of Education is distributing this funding under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) fund. California will receive $98,709,231 in total. Of this total, $24,677,307 has already been distributed to the state. Remaining funds will be allocated as soon as June 2021.
The Department of Education issued a letter to Chief State School Officers underscoring the urgent need to use this funding to identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide assistance to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities, including in-person instruction this spring and upcoming summer learning and enrichment programs.