Updated: Dec 16, 2021
This has been a school year like no other. Schools have navigated myriad challenges brought on by the pandemic, including remote and hybrid instruction, new school procedures, and changes in relationships with families and students. Now and always, we highly value your work with students in temporary housing and recognize the wide-reaching importance of your role supporting students experiencing homelessness. As you prepare for the summer, we want to share information and resources to help you finish out the school year and plan for next year.
Summer Rising and Busing for Students in Shelter
Expanded STH Title I Funding and Planning
Determining & Confirming McKinney-Vento Eligibility
Important Benefits for Families
Please check in with your students in temporary housing and their families regarding their summer plans and needs. If they are not already registered for Summer Rising, speak with them about the program and help them register!
All programs for K-8 will include both academic enrichment and recreational activities. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be served. NEW Busing will be available to students K-6 who are living in shelter, regardless of promotion in doubt status, for the instructional portion of the day. More information can be found here.
Expanded Title I Funding and Planning
Next year, for the first time, Title I schools will receive a Title I per pupil allocation for each student identified as homeless on top of their basic Title I allocation. For example, if your borough’s Title I per pupil allocation is $1,000 and your school identified 10 students in temporary housing, your school will get $10,000 in additional Title I funds specifically to meet the needs of students in temporary housing. Non-Title I schools will continue to receive per pupil allocations for students in temporary housing as they have in previous years. Check out how much Title I STH funding your school will be getting by looking at this School Allocation Memo.
As you finish out the school year, it’s time to reflect on Title I spending for STH in this school year and begin planning for next school year. Remember, these funds can be used flexibly to meet students’ needs.
Some end-of-year reflection questions to answer with your Principal include:
Was my school able to accurately determine the needs of our students in temporary housing?
Was my school able to use Title I STH funding to address those needs? Why or why not?
What could be improved for next year?
For more information about how Title I funds can be used to support students in temporary housing, see here.
Determining & Confirming McKinney-Vento Eligibility
The end of the school year is the ideal time to check in with parents whose children are McKinney-Vento eligible (or youth themselves in the case of unaccompanied homeless youth) and determine whether their housing situation has changed since your designation. This will allow you to make appropriate updates to the student’s housing status in ATS.
If you have not yet done so, there’s still time! Our template e-mail is designed to assist you with your outreach to confirm continued eligibility.
Identification of Students Experiencing Homelessness
Keep McKinney-Vento rights in mind when you reach out to families about returning to in-person learning. Remember, in addition to students in shelter, students who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason are covered and eligible for transportation (MetroCards or busing) to/from their school of origin. This could include, for example, a student whose family temporarily moved in with relatives after a parent lost their employment.
Looking for next steps? Read more about determining McKinney-Vento eligibility and considerations for serving students experiencing homelessness amid school reopening.
Make Sure Parents Know About These Important Benefits
Emergency Rental Assistance
Please share with families that New York State is accepting applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program helps with rent arrears (owed back rent). A list of community-based organizations that can help families apply for ERAP can be found here.
Also NYS Call Center: 844-NY1-RENT (844-691-7368) and NYS website.
Undocumented families are eligible to apply. And there is a special housing hotline to connect undocumented and mixed-status tenants with resources and funding available through programs including ERAP and FASTEN (Funds & Services for Tenants Experiencing Need): (212) 298-3490.
Child Tax Credit
Families can use the ACCESS NYC tool to help determine eligibility for the 2021 Child Tax Credit. Starting July 15, 2021, payments will automatically be made monthly from the IRS if families have filed taxes for tax year 2020 or tax year 2019. If families did not file, they can:
File their 2020 tax return for free with NYS Free Tax Prep if they earned $68,000 or less, or
If they aren’t required to file a tax return, use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to provide info to the IRS for advance cash payments.
Child Care Vouchers
Subsidized child care (vouchers and EarlyLearn programs) is now available to all income-eligible families who are homeless where the children are citizens or have satisfactory immigration status (the immigration status of the parents do not matter). The application can be found here. For more information, contact:
ACS Early Care and Education Call Center: (212) 835-7610
DOE’s Division of Early Childhood Education: email@example.com, (212) 637-8000
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
This FCC program provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband (internet) bills for qualifying low-income households.
Eligible households can receive up to $50/mo + 1-time device discount.