Congressional Briefing: Educating Homeless Children and Youth During COVID-19

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
Washington, District of Columbia
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Hosted by: U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), U.S. Representative Don Bacon (R-NE)

Moderated by: SchoolHouse Connection

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, public schools identified 1.5 million homeless children and youth, preK-12, and the U.S. Department of Education estimated that another 1.4 million children under age six experienced homelessness.

The coronavirus outbreak has created barriers to their education and survival beyond the already grave effects of homelessness, while also threatening to dramatically increase the number of children and youth who experience homelessness. School building closures and distance learning have been particularly challenging for children and youth experiencing homelessness, who also are disproportionately students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners.

This Congressional briefing will feature a panel discussion among four local educational agency homeless liaisons charged under federal law with identifying children and youth experiencing homelessness, and ensuring their enrollment and support. Learn about the struggles and strategies of educators to identify and support these students and families, and their urgent needs – including funding for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program and for community organizations in the Emergency Family Stabilization Act (H.R. 7950, S. 3923).


1. John Bright, Homeless Education Coordinator/Resource Facilitator, Omaha Public Schools, Nebraska

2. Ayesha Buckner, Homeless Liaison/Parental Involvement Specialist/Foster Care POC, New Orleans Public Schools, Louisiana

3. Antonio Lewis, McKinney-Vento and Foster Care Liaison, Highline Public Schools, Washington

4. Dr. Donna Smith, Program Coordinator, Homeless Services for Children and Youth, Monterey County Office of Education

SchoolHouse Connection
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