California may give some homeless students monthly guaranteed income

As part of a growing spate of guaranteed-income programs across California, a state law making its way through the Legislature would grant $1,000 a month to homeless high school seniors.

Introduced by State Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), Senate Bill 1341 proposes a monthly no-obligation check for eligible students for five months, from April of a student’s senior year through August.

“It’s essentially this transitional support to try and break the cycle of homelessness in this age group,” Cortese said.

The legislation is a revision of an earlier bill also introduced by Cortese that aimed to give college students from low-income families attending some California State University campuses $500 a month. However, lawmakers scrapped the idea when they found that the monthly checks would have essentially been deducted from each separate college grant.

SB 1341 passed the Senate in May and is now under review by the Assembly’s Human Services and Higher Education Committees.

The bill would provide enough funding for 15,000 students, equivalent to the number of public high school seniors who were homeless in the 2020-21 school year, defined by the McKinney-Vento statute as “without a regular, regular, and appropriate night time.” Residence.”

Many of these children live in other families’ homes, in dormitories, motels, cars, or public spaces.

In all public schools in the state, from kindergarten through 12th grade, more than 183,000 students were homeless last school year, according to the California Department of Education.

Black and Latino students were overrepresented; Black students make up 5% of the statewide enrollment, but made up about 7% of homeless students, according to state data, and Latinos made up 74% of homeless students, despite making up 55% of the total student population. White students, who make up 22% of the statewide enrollment, accounted for about 10% of the homeless students.

Lawmakers estimate the state would spend about $85 million a year to fund the monthly checks, which varies with the number of homeless youth.

Although the funds are intended to help recent high school seniors find housing, transition to college or vocational training, or apply for jobs, the bill allows individuals to choose how to spend the monthly stipends.

“It’s both the most radical and the most effective thing we’ve seen in terms of guaranteed income as it’s become more mainstream in recent years,” Cortese said. “The combination of empowerment and lack of regulation was really powerful in terms of outcomes.”

After the city of Stockton famously began giving some of its working-class residents $500 for two years starting in 2019, a study showed employment among recipients rose 12 percentage points.

Since then, other cities and counties in the state have followed suit, including Los Angeles County, which is providing $1,000 for three years for some low-income residents. Compton began writing checks to some of its residents in late 2020, and Long Beach is on the verge of offering $500 a month to some single parents in the neighborhood with the city’s highest poverty rate.

State-sponsored mothers-to-be or persons aging out of foster care may be entitled to a state-funded guaranteed income. California may give some homeless students monthly guaranteed income

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