June 6, 2016
Nearly 50 students whose families now use The Road Home’s Midvale shelter will begin receiving educational services today after the Utah State Board of Education approved a one-time request to fund the program through July 1.
The State Board unanimously approved allocating $15,000, money that comes from Federal Mineral Lease revenue in the State Board’s discretionary account and at the request of legislators who earlier this year funded a portion of the summer program. Together with a private $10,000 donation, the allocation will secure the program throughout June. It is anticipated that federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars will be available on July 1.
“We appreciate being able to help fund a program that will benefit some of the most vulnerable students in Utah. Students experiencing homelessness often face significant barriers in education, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Legislature to mitigate some of those challenges through summer learning programs,” said State Board Chair David Crandall.
Academic programs for student who reside at the Midvale Road Home facility are operated by Canyons School District, the district of residence. The State Board’s staff began the process today of transferring the discretionary funds to the school district.
Efforts in the 2016 legislative session by Reps. Steve Eliason and Francis Gibson provided $450,000 in funding as a line-item called “Homeless Children Supplemental Education Funding” in House Bill 2. Because that funding is not available until July 1, the State Board was asked to provide funding to bridge the gap.
“I am deeply grateful for the State Board of Education and their willingness to provide this one-time funding for summer educational programs for children who are temporarily homeless. Children experiencing homeless can lose an estimated three to six months of educational attainment with each episode of homelessness. This funding will help mitigate this issue for some of the most at-risk students in the state of Utah,” said Rep. Steve Eliason, who also sits on The Road Home’s Board of Trustees. “This is another example of collaboration between a local school district, the State Board of Education, and the Utah Legislature that we can be proud of in Utah. I am also very grateful for the special attention that the Salt Lake and Canyons school districts pay to homeless children year-round.”
Until this year, the Road Home in Midvale has been open from November through March. Students there were, and will continue to be, welcomed to neighborhood schools in the Canyons district or transported back to their school of origin during the regular school year. Over the past few years, the shelter has been reconstructed and will now operate year-round.
The educational program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and include meals, academic instruction from Canyons certified teachers, field trips, and other activities. The Midvale Boys and Girls Club has partnered with Canyons in providing services.
Emilie Wheeler, communication specialist
Utah State Board of Education
801-707-8421 | Emilie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Sterling, director of Student Advocacy and Access
Canyons School District
801-826-5111 | Karen.Sterling@canyonsdistrict.org