Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Educational Needs of Students Experiencing Foster Care and Homelessness During the COVID-19 Crisis

Published: May 12, 2020

This letter from Building Changes, College Success Foundation, The Mockingbird Society, and Treehouse was sent to Washington State Governor Inslee and Superintendent Reykdal on April 22, 2020. Through the letter, these nonprofit partners, which are members of the Project Education Impact state policy workgroup, provide specific recommendations for how to allocate federal emergency education funds to support students and youth experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. Recommendations align with four broad themes:

  1. Prioritize existing programs that can be used as mechanisms to distribute dollars quickly to serve students experiencing homelessness and/or foster care.
  2. We must meet the basic needs of students to ensure resources are provided for baseline survival, or they will simply be unable to engage in their education.
  3. Our state must meet its constitutional duty to provide access to education for every student experiencing homelessness and/or foster care, including those youth in juvenile detention and juvenile rehabilitation settings, who are at significant and outsized disadvantage during the prolonged school-building closure.
  4. Educators and providers should be supported and positioned to deliver quality education services to highly mobile students.

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