DESE will provide a webinar on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at 1:30pm - 3:00pm to discuss ARP Homeless II funds. Participants may register for the webinar at the following link here. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/public-school-accountability/federal-programs/cares-act
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act - Homeless Children and Youth (HCY) Program provides funding for the purposes to help States and local educational agencies (LEAs) identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services that address the multiple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeless children and youth, and ensure that homeless children and youth are able to attend school and participate fully in school activities.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students experiencing homelessness are increasingly under-identified, as learning outside of school building settings likely impeded the critical role of educators and staff in schools and LEAs to properly identify students, and these students have remained underserved by schools, LEAs, and States. The ARP-Homeless II funding to support students experiencing homelessness has tremendous potential to expand the systems in Arkansas to identify and support the needs of homeless children and youth.
These funds will support the work of the designated Homeless Liaison in each LEA, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act, and build capacity in LEAs, which will help to identify greater numbers of students experiencing homelessness and better coordinate services for those students in LEAs receiving funding through this formula.
These funds may be used to address urgent needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness—including academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. The funds may also be used to increase capacity by hiring staff, dedicating resources, and planning partnerships with community-based organizations, among other strategies.
The allocation formula is based equally on the proportional share of an LEA's allocation under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 for the most recent fiscal year, and the LEA's proportional share of the number of homeless children and youth identified by each LEA relative to all LEAs in the State, using the greater of the number of homeless children and youth in either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 school year in each LEA. This formula ensures a balance in the distribution of funds to focus on the needs of the LEAs, considering both the LEA's number of low-income students and the number of homeless children and youth. In addition, allowing the use of either the 2018-19 school year or 2019-20 school year homeless counts takes into consideration the potential for undercounting in the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 by allowing LEAs to use the greater of the two numbers.
NOTE: An SEA may not make a subgrant to an LEA under 42 U.S.C.A. §11433 (c)(1) if the amount of such subgrant would be less than $5,000. An LEA that does not meet this minimum allocation requirement may receive a subgrant only as part of a consortium with other LEAs if the total of their combined allocations is at least $5,000.
Allocation of Funds
Arkansas will post the preliminary allocations on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/allocations
Final allocations will be determined after all applications have been reviewed. All funds are reimbursement only.
The SOF code for ARP-HCY II is 6767.
Timeline for Funds
ARP-HCY funds expire September 30, 2024.
Uses of Funds
Funding under this program must be used for the purposes of identifying homeless children and youth and providing homeless children and youth with (A) wraparound services in light of the challenges of COVID–19; and (B) assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.
Funding provided under ARP Homeless II must follow the final requirements at https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/07/EO-12866-OESE-FY-21-NFR-ARP-HCY-with-disclaimer.docx.
Furthermore, funding under the ARP Homeless II program must adhere to the allowable uses of funds described in Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act). Under section(d) of, 42 U.S.C.A. §11433, LEAs may use subgrant funds for activities that support the purposes of the program, including:
- The provision of tutoring, supplemental instruction, and enriched educational services that are linked to the achievement of the same challenging State academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youths.
- The provision of expedited evaluations of the strengths and needs of homeless children and youths, including needs and eligibility for programs and services (such as educational programs for gifted and talented students, children with disabilities, and English learners, services provided under title I of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., or similar State or local programs, programs in career and technical education, and school nutrition programs).
- Professional development and other activities for educators and specialized instructional support personnel that are designed to heighten the understanding and sensitivity of such personnel to the needs of homeless children and youths, the rights of such children and youths under this part, and the specific educational needs of runaway and homeless youths.
- The provision of referral services to homeless children and youths for medical, dental, mental, and other health services.
- The provision of assistance to defray the excess cost of transportation for students under 42 U.S.C.A. § 11432 (g)(4)(A), not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, where necessary to enable students to attend the school selected under section 11432 (g)(3) of this title.
- The provision of developmentally appropriate early childhood education programs, not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, for preschool-aged homeless children.
- The provision of services and assistance to attract, engage, and retain homeless children and youths, particularly homeless children and youths who are not enrolled in school, in public school programs and services provided to non-homeless children and youths.
- The provision for homeless children and youths of before- and after-school, mentoring, and summer programs in which a teacher or other qualified individual provides tutoring, homework assistance, and supervision of educational activities.
- If necessary, the payment of fees and other costs associated with tracking, obtaining, and transferring records necessary to enroll homeless children and youths in school, including birth certificates, immunization or other required health records, academic records, guardianship records, and evaluations for special programs or services.
- The provision of education and training to the parents and guardians of homeless children and youths about the rights of, and resources available to, such children and youths, and other activities designed to increase the meaningful involvement of parents and guardians of homeless children or youths in the education of such children or youths.
- The development of coordination between schools and agencies providing services to homeless children and youths, as described in section 11432 (g)(5).
- The provision of specialized instructional support services (including violence prevention counseling) and referrals for such services.
- Activities to address the particular needs of homeless children and youths that may arise from domestic violence and parental mental health or substance abuse problems.
- The adaptation of space and purchase of supplies for any non-school facilities made available under subsection(a)(2) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433 to provide services under section(d) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433.
- The provision of school supplies, including those supplies to be distributed at shelters or temporary housing facilities, or other appropriate locations.
- The provision of other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.
Activities under Homeless II may include any expenses necessary to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, or educational success of homeless children and youth in order to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities, 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., personal protective equipment, eyeglasses, school supplies, personal care items);
- providing transportation to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities;
- purchasing cell phones or other technological devices for unaccompanied, homeless children and youth to enable such children and youth to attend school 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;
- paying 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 homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities (including summer school); and
- providing store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate fully in school activities.
LEAs must ensure that all costs are reasonable and necessary and that these uses of funds align with the purpose of, and other requirements in, the McKinney-Vento Act. In addition, when considering funding decisions, we want to emphasize that section (d)(16) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433 allows the use of funds for “other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.” Accordingly, when considering funding decisions, LEAs should analyze the needs of students experiencing homelessness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its extraordinary impact.
For additional resources that address the needs of students experiencing homelessness, please see the Department’s COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools and Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs.
- ARP Homeless II funds expire September 30, 2024.
Notice to Participate in Consortium
Any LEA may participate in a consortium to better utilize funds to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness. An LEA that does not meet the minimum allocation requirement of $5,000 may receive a subgrant only as part of a consortium with other LEAs if the total of their combined allocations is at least $5,000. All LEAs participating in a consortium must submit an intent to participate in a consortium form prior to submission of the consortium application.