The Bulletin Board

Council approves federal aid to address homelessness among students

By: - September 15, 2021 6:04 pm
Exterior of the department of education

Of New Hampshire’s allotment of the funding, $1.7 million, or 75 percent, will go directly to schools to improve services; the rest will be used by the Department of Education to help identify students. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)

New Hampshire students who experienced homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic could soon benefit from wraparound services in their schools, after the New Hampshire Executive Council approved federal aid money Wednesday.

As part of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief program’s Homeless Children and Youth Fund – a piece of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March – New Hampshire was approved for $2.3 million out of $800 million nationwide to tackle homelessness among students. 

If approved by the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee, a panel of representatives and senators, on Friday, the money would go in part to the state’s Department of Education and in part directly to schools.

Under the federal program, the department has been directed “to use the funds for the purposes of identifying homeless children and youth, providing homeless children and youth with wraparound services in light of the challenges of COVID-19, and providing assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities,” according to a note to the council from Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. 

Schools, meanwhile, will be able to use the funding according to the 1987 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which established requirements that schools allow the continuation of studies for students without records, allow students to remain in their school of origin if in their best interests, and to provide “support for academic success.”

Of New Hampshire’s allotment of the funding, $1.7 million, or 75 percent, will go directly to schools to improve services; the rest will be used by the Department of Education to help identify students, according to Edelblut.

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Ethan DeWitt
Ethan DeWitt

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel.

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