Senator Murkowski Floor Speech on the Homeless Amendment
Transcript: This is the amendment we’re waiting for. This is a bipartisan amendment this is so bipartisan that we’ve already agreed to a voice vote so listen carefully. Pre-pandemic, our public schools have identified about 1.5 million kids who have experienced homelessness. That’s 2.7% of all public-school students. So think about what that means — that was pre-pandemic. We know That that number is higher now. So our amendment is pretty simple here. We reallocate less than 1% of the funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund to ensure homeless youth and kids have the resources that they need to get into and succeed in school. In Alaska and around the country, the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downtown has increased the strain on our families and the need for services. Too many of the kids have left their homes, been pushed out of their homes, sometimes many of them to escape a dangerous situation. They’re dealing with the challenges of virtual learning. These kids are worrying about where to sleep at night, how they’re going to eat dinner, and if they’re going to be safe. This amendment ensures that these kids no matter the trauma and challenges they face outside the classroom will have a safe place to sleep and access to the wrap-around services they need. We have a responsibility to ensure that this vulnerable population, many of whom will be subject to predation, violence, or trafficking is not forgotten or left behind.