Dear Champions of Education,  

As part of a pilot program established in the recently signed State Budget (part KKKK), School Administrative Units (SAUs) and the State Office of Education in the Unorganized Territory (EUT) will have access to emergency financial assistance to help students avoid homelessness. The pilot will become effective on October 25, 2023. 

SAUs/EUT can access financial assistance in an amount of up to $750 per student who has been identified as being at risk of experiencing homelessness. Based on the formula created, every SAU with schools has, at a minimum, $750 available should a need arise. SAUs were divided into three tiers based on the number of McKinney-Vento students identified in the 2022-23 school year. SAUs with over 50 McKinney-Vento students are in Tier I and will receive an allocation of $312/per McKinney-Vento student identified. SAUs with between 3 and 49 McKinney-Vento students will receive an allocation of $344/per McKinney-Vento student identified. SAUs with 0-2 McKinney-Vento students identified will receive an allocation of $750 per SAU.  Allocations can be found here

Emergency assistance may be provided for services authorized for funding under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in addition to assistance for other housing-related needs such as rental assistance, paying for utilities, critical home repairs, and other assistance that will help a student avoid homelessness. This funding must be used for direct payment to a vendor for a service, such as a landlord or utility company, and requires invoices. This funding cannot be distributed directly to families or students.  

SAUs/EUT will opt to accept or decline this funding in Grants4ME, and to use the funds within the following budgeting categories: Rental assistance/housing, critical home repairs, utilities, or other McKinney-Vento Allowable Uses. 

Invoices will not begin to be processed through the Grants4ME system until after October 25, 2023, as funds authorized by the Legislature for this pilot will not be enacted until 90-days after the end of the legislative session. However, SAUs may apply for pre-award costs dating back to July 1, 2023.  

SAUs/EUT who opt to receive this funding will be required to submit a brief activities report on February 1, 2024, and June 1, 2024, through Grants4ME. Reporting elements for the report will include total amount of funding accessed, by category, the number of students that received support through this funding source by race/ethnicity, student population groups, grade, what other sources of funding were pursued to meet the identified needs, and how this funding impacted students and their education. 

In the spring of 2024, the Maine DOE will reallocate any remaining Preventing Student Homelessness Pilot Program funds for the 2023-24 school year that were declined by SAUs. 

Click here to learn about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in Maine. For more information, contact Amelia Lyons Rukema, McKinney-Vento Specialist, at