New laws seek to better serve homeless youth
January 30, 2023
School districts will want to review their current programs and policies regarding homeless youth as they may be impacted by two new state laws, according to law firm Lozano Smith.
The homeless youth crisis in the United States is not abating, and the pandemic has only worsened the effects of homelessness on this vulnerable student demographic. In March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. In recognition of the extraordinary impacts of the pandemic on youth experiencing homelessness, the ARP includes an unprecedented $800 million to support the specific needs of homeless youth via the ARP Homeless Children and Youth Fund. State and local educational agencies must use these funds to identify homeless youth, provide them with wrap-around services to address the challenges of COVID-19 and enable them to attend school and fully participate in school activities.
In addition to the ARP, the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides grants to states to carry out activities relating to the education of homeless youths, including providing services and activities to improve the identification of homeless youths and to enable them to enroll in, attend and succeed in school.
Recently enacted state laws have adjusted the obligations of LEAs under both the ARP and the MVHAA, with respect to housing questionnaires and homeless youth liaisons.
Assembly Bill 2375, effective Sept. 30, 2022, amended Education Code section 48851 regarding the identification of students experiencing homelessness using a housing questionnaire.

Assembly Bill 408, also effective Sept. 30, 2022, added section 48851.3 to the Education Code related to LEA homeless education program policies and training offerings by homeless youth liaisons. The bill also added Education Code section 48852.3 regarding the CDE’s monitoring of LEA compliance.
Together, AB 2375 and AB 408 seek to better address the homeless youth crisis in California by requiring LEAs to gather more accurate data on the crisis and ensuring homeless youth policies are updated to be consistent with state and federal law. LEAs should evaluate their current programs and policies to ensure they are aligned with the new requirements of these bills.
Full brief available online
Read the full Lozano Smith client news brief, including links to CDE guidance and LEA requirements, at
Contact Us
© 2023 Association of California School Administrators