State to get $ 6.4 million for homeless students – Los Alamos Reporter
PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEWS
New Mexico will receive $ 6.4 million from the federal government over the next two months to help identify and provide services to children and youth experiencing homelessness, the Department of Public Education said Monday. .
The funding matches New Mexico’s share of $ 800 million authorized by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities, including in-person instruction this spring and upcoming summer enrichment programs.
The new funds can be used for almost any purpose that achieves these goals – for example, providing needed supplies, transportation, short-term temporary housing, and mental health services.
“This is a tremendous new asset to help meet the most basic needs of students so that they can succeed academically despite their family’s current housing situation,” said Public Education Secretary Ryan. Stewart. “Every child should be able to participate fully in their education, regardless of the obstacles. Congress recognized this when it appropriated this money to help our most needy students.
At last count, New Mexico had 6,573 homeless students.
The US Department of Education announced the allowances in a letter sent Friday (attached) which included instructions for administering, distributing and spending the money.
This funding will complement the money that states are already receiving through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. In the current fiscal year, New Mexico received $ 793,000 through this legislation. Some of that money pays for a state program coordinator, who will also administer the new funds.
States will immediately receive 25% of their total allocation, or $ 1.6 million for New Mexico. This first distribution is to be used to meet the urgent needs of students, whether it be academic, social, emotional or mental health. The Department of Public Education will not set aside more than 25% for state-level programs, including training, technical assistance, and engagement with local education agencies, which will receive the bulk of new funds.
District or charter school funding for this new allocation will be based on the current distribution of McKinney-Vento funds.
The remaining 75% will be released after the state submits a plan outlining how funds will be used at the state level and how the money will be distributed to individual districts and state charters. It could be as early as June, the letter said.
State coordinators of the Education Act for Homeless Children and Youth are meeting virtually this week to receive additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. New Mexico’s plan will take shape after this meeting, said Dana Malone, the coordinator of the New Mexico Department of Public Education.