By Amy Rickard, California State PTA Advocate
California’s population of homeless youth is growing. Assembly Bill (AB) 27, supported by California State PTA and recently signed into law, assures that our homeless students will now be counted and given assistance, and schools will be able to provide much needed resources to our most vulnerable families.
AB 27 uses the federal definition of homeless youth: individuals without a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This includes moving into the houses of friends or family and living with multiple families in a single family home, car, or RV. Additionally, this includes unaccompanied minors, defined as a homeless youth who is not in the custody of a parent or guardian.
The new law establishes a standardized process for all school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to (1) administer a questionnaire regarding housing insecurity, (2) identify youth and families, and (3) report the results annually to the California Department of Education. Additionally, the law facilitates the creation of three (3) regional technical assistance centers (TACs) that will create resources and other materials to help identify the needs of our homeless youth and families.
Visit our website to learn more from our Health & Community Concerns Commission on how your PTA can help and support homeless students and families in your community.