BILL REQ. #:  H-3879.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

By Representatives Kagi, Walsh, Fey, Stonier, and Gregerson

Read first time 02/04/14.   Referred to Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

     AN ACT Relating to creating a pilot program to provide educational stability for homeless children; adding a new section to chapter 43.185C RCW; creating a new section; making an appropriation; and providing an expiration date.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   A new section is added to chapter 43.185C RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The department, in consultation with the office of the superintendent of public instruction, must administer a two-year pilot program that links homeless children and their families with stable housing located in the homeless student's school district. The goal of the pilot program is to provide educational stability for homeless children by promoting housing stability for homeless families while reducing transportation costs for school districts.
     (2) The department, working with the office of the superintendent of public instruction, must develop a competitive grant process to make a one-time grant award of three hundred thousand dollars to a school district partnered with an eligible organization. For the purposes of this subsection, "eligible organization" means any local government, local housing authority, regional support network established under chapter 71.24 RCW, nonprofit community or neighborhood-based organization, federally recognized Indian tribe in the state of Washington, or regional or statewide nonprofit housing assistance organization.
     (3) In determining which school district will receive the grant award, preference must be given to rural school districts and school districts east of the crest of the Cascade mountain range.
     (4) Activities eligible for assistance under this pilot program include:
     (a) Direct rental assistance, which includes security or utility deposits, first and last month's rent assistance, rental application fees, and eligible moving expenses to be determined by the department;
     (b) Utility assistance and gas assistance for families with vehicles;
     (c) Shelter and related services for the homeless; and
     (d) Employment and educational support for the family so long as the assistance provided facilitates the family continuing to live in the school district.
     (5) All recipients of funds from the pilot program must be from very low-income households. For the purposes of this subsection, "very low-income household" means a family or unrelated persons living together whose adjusted income is less than fifty percent of the median family income, adjusted for household size, for the county where the pilot program is located.
     (6)(a) The grantee is to track the number of homeless children in the school district, the number of homeless children served by the grant, the number of households served by the grant, the types of services offered, and the educational transportation costs of the children. This information, along with the educational transportation costs of homeless children prior to the pilot program, must be reported to the department, along with any additional information requested by the department, at the conclusion of the pilot program.
     (b) At the conclusion of the pilot program, the department must compile the information provided by the grantee and report to the legislature the findings of the grantee, the housing stability of the homeless families, whether the school district's transportation costs were reduced during the program period, and any related policy recommendations.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   The sum of three hundred thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, from the general fund to the department of commerce for the purposes of this act.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   If specific funding for the purposes of section 1 of this act, referencing section 1 of this act by bill or chapter number and section number, is not provided by June 30, 2014, in the omnibus appropriations act, section 1 of this act is null and void.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   This act expires January 15, 2017.

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