Education for Homeless Children gets HELP

Senate Committee Approves Reauthorization

Senator Tom HarkinOn Thursday, October 20, the “Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011” was passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee by a vote of 15-7 according to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).

This bill reauthorizes many federal education programs, including the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program.

An amendment successfully offered by Senator Al Franken (D-MN) includes educational provisions for children and youth in foster care in Title I, Part A of ESEA.

The Senate Committee bill addresses the identification of homeless children and youth, school selection, enrollment, transportation, the needs of unaccompanied homeless youth and of pre-school homeless children, and access to academic and extra-curricular activities. It will greatly strengthen educational protections and services for homeless children and youth.

Click here for an overview of the legislation prepared by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY).