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Tales from the Field: Allowable Use of Funding for the Summer


In this scenario, we will learn about the kind of funding that can be used for summer programming for MV Eligible students.


The Tale:

A district liaison has called the NYS TEACHS helpline. This is their first school year in the role as a McKinney Vento liaison. Being that they have not experienced the end of the school year as a liaison they are wondering if they can use funds to support McKinney Vento students now and over the summer. The DL called regarding a family that has been in a shelter since November after losing their home due to economic hardship. The school that the student attends is an elementary school within the district. Mom has shared that she received a letter from the teacher regarding the end-of-year picnic, that letter also states that students are to provide $10 each to cover the cost of the picnic by the stated deadline. Mom also shared that there was a list of suggested items to bring to the picnic such as a bathing suit for water play and a towel. Mom has shared that she is currently not able to provide those materials and the required fee for the end-of-year picnic. Additionally, the mom has shared that she is planning on picking up more shifts at work and is wondering if there are any summer programs available for her child. The district liaison has called the helpline inquiring about Title I funds and other funds that could be used in this scenario. Is this situation an allowable expense? Are summer programs also an allowable expense?

 

Resources:

 


Questions to consider:

  1. Can the district liaison provide the mom with funds to purchase a bathing suit and towel for the child to participate in the end-of-year picnic?

  2. The liaison is not familiar with ARP-HCY Funds but has some knowledge of Title I funds, can Title I funds be used in this scenario?

  3. The parent in the scenario above shared that there is a fee for the end-of-year picnic, how can the district liaison assist that family if they are not able to pay that fee?

  4. How can the liaison assist the parent regarding summer programs? What is the guidance on summer school?


Question 1: Can the district liaison provide the mom with funds to purchase a bathing suit and towel for the child to participate in the end-of-year picnic?

It is important to ensure that McKinney Vento students are able to participate in all activities. As the school year comes to an end, many schools/classrooms plan for their end-of-year celebrations. Ensuring participation allows for students to continue to feel welcomed and seen. Additionally, it allows for the development of social skills, increases confidence, and overall social-emotional development.

The district liaison can work with the parent to purchase a bathing suit and other items the child may need. Additionally, they can also Provide store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate fully in school activities (Allowable Uses of ARP-HCY Funds - Two Page Reference).

 

American Rescue Plan - Homeless Children and Youth Funds (ARP-HCY) funds are uniquely flexible funds dedicated to supporting the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services. Eligible uses of funds include “any expenses necessary to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, or educational success of homeless children and youth to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.

 

Please see the language below on Prepaid Debit and Store Cards using ARP-HCY Funds-

 

Can ARP-HCY funds be used to purchase prepaid debit and store cards?

 

Yes. ED’s Dear Colleague Letter specifically names as allowable “store cards and prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate fully in school activities.” Debit and store cards are a streamlined way to provide clothing, school supplies, hygiene items, and other needs to children and youth. These cards eliminate the need for liaisons to shop for specific sizes and needs or find a place to store supplies. Liaisons should check with their State Coordinator and LEA business office regarding the purchase of prepaid cards and any necessary tracking to mitigate waste and abuse. For example, some LEAs purchase cards that cannot be used for alcohol and tobacco, and require parents or youth to sign for cards when received.

 

As with all ARP-HCY funds, it is recommended that the LEA first use community resources to meet these needs, if such resources are reasonably available. (Allowable and Strategic Uses of American Rescue Plan- Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) Funds)

Question 2: The liaison is not familiar with ARP-HCY Funds but has some knowledge of Title I funds, can Title I funds be used in this scenario?

Question 3: The parent in the scenario above shared that there is a fee for the end-of-year picnic, how can the district liaison assist that family if they are not able to pay that fee?

Question 4: How can the liaison assist the parent regarding summer programs? What is the guidance on summer school?


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