Federal Cuts to Impact Homeless Students in Michigan - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Federal Cuts to Impact Homeless Students in Michigan

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While much of our focus right now is on the government shut down, the sequester is still having it's effects on northern Michigan.

Local school districts are losing a big chunk of money from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act - it provides help for homeless students.

The McKinney-Vento Act helps 1,300 students in Traverse City Area Public Schools five county region. 11 of those attend Kingsley schools.

"As the liaison for Kingsley, I would be worried that, how am I going to take care of my kids? How are we going to take care of these kids?" says Diana Mack, the homeless liaison at Kingsley Schools.

TCAPS is losing 46 percent of the money that's used to give these students school-day necessities.

"Clothing, they get free lunch, backpacks, supplies for school, access to transportation is a big one," explained Mack.

TCAPS said they aren't quite sure what they'll do about the cut - a reduction of $35,000. They hope the generosity of others can make up for the loss.

"We had previously been told that we would be budgeted at a certain level, and when we got the news of the reduction we have brought together our partners and we're looking closely now at how we will handle that reduction. It does appear that we will be relying more on those donations than we ever have in the past," says TCAPS Human Resources director, Dr. Cindy Berck.

Another obstacle for the most vulnerable in the district.

"It's fair to say there's a significant need in this region to provide these support services."

Funding for the 2014-205 school year will increase, although it will still be less than previous years.