Department of Education

Ensuring equal access to educational opportunity is a cornerstone in the mission of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Children experiencing homelessness are often first identified as such through their schools.  As reported to ED by State educational agencies in the Consolidated State Performance Report, in school year 2008-2009, a total of 956,914 children were identified by public schools as not having a stable place to call home. (This is the year for which the most recent data are available.)  ED works to ensure that these vulnerable children and youth have the opportunity to achieve success in school despite their precarious living situations.

ED administers the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program through the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). EHCY provides formula grants to States to support activities and services targeted to meeting the academic and social needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Discussions on implementing Opening Doors and coordinating technical assistance across ED for programs serving homeless students include a number of offices, such as OESE and the Offices of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Vocational and Adult Education, Postsecondary Education, and Federal Student Aid*.
 
Programs like Promise Neighborhoods in the Office of Innovation and Improvement, which have a clear goal of breaking down agency “silos,” are a vehicle for interagency collaboration to help stabilize both children and youth in schools and their communities.

*FSA has updated the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to address students being homeless – here is a link to a 2009 announcement on that issue http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/080609Enha0910FOTWFAAAcc.html.

Please read the detailed profile below to learn more about meeting the needs of children experiencing homelessness:

Public Schools: Counting and Caring for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Students on the move: reaching and teaching highly mobile children and youth

Patricia A. Popp, James H. Stronge, Jennifer L. Hindman November 2003 The purpose of this handbook...

Effective Teaching and At Risk/Highly Mobile Students: What Do Award Winning Teachers Do?

Leslie Grant, James H. Stronge, and Patricia Popp May 2008 This study was designed jointly between...

A Look at Child Welfare From a Homeless Education Perspective

Jan Moore Fall 2007 More and more frequently, local homeless education liaisons are asked to determine...

Collaborations of Schools and Social Service Agencies

Jan Moore December 2005 In the past two decades, there has been a dramatic rise in...

School stability and school performance: a review of the literature

Beth Garriss Hardy 2004 While the topic of student mobility and its effects on school performance...

Increasing school stability for students experiencing homelessness: overcoming challenges to providing transportation to the school of origin

Diana Bowman 2004 Underscoring the importance of school stability for children and youth experiencing homelessness, the...

Students on the move: reaching and teaching highly mobile children and youth

Patricia A. Popp 2003 The purpose of this handbook it to synthesize research on the education...

Unaccompanied and Homeless Youth Review of Literature (1995-2005)

Jan Moore July 2005 This project is based on a review of 1995 to 2005 literature on issues...

Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

When families become homeless, the experience is traumatizing, especially for children. Research compiled by the...

Promise Neighborhoods

The Promise Neighborhoods program began in fiscal year 2010 and its vision is to improve the...

Opening Doors Together: Strategies for Integrating Education and Housing Services

  USICH and the Departments of Education (ED) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) discuss...