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Sen. Toni Atkins Intervenes; San Diego Unified Gets $250,000 For Homeless Students

State Senate President Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is shown speaking at the Wes...

Photo by Nancee Lewis

Above: State Senate President Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is shown speaking at the Westin Hotel in downtown San Diego, June 7, 2016.

State Senate President Toni Atkins has helped secure the San Diego Unified School District $250,000 to support homeless students next year after the district lost out on federal funding because of a missing signature on a grant application.

The district announced the funding in a news release Tuesday about the school board voting on the fiscal 2019 budget.

inewsource reported last month that the state Education Department disqualified San Diego Unified’s request for up to $750,000 in homeless student funding over the next three years because it failed to get a signature from a finance official. Two other San Diego County school districts — South Bay Union and La Mesa-Spring Valley — also submitted incomplete applications and were disqualified.

The district said Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, worked to get the funds for San Diego Unified as a direct response to learning about the clerical mistake.

The $250,000 will come from the state’s general fund and is included in a package of budget bills Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign Wednesday.

Because of mistakes or omissions, 15 California school districts and county offices of education were disqualified for the federal grant distributed by the state Education Department. Like San Diego Unified, four others were disqualified for missing signatures.

The state money was included in the district’s fiscal 2019 budget. San Diego Unified had the third largest homeless student population in California last year, behind the Los Angeles and Long Beach unified school districts.

San Diego Unified has an annual operating budget of more than $1 billion, according to the district. A spokeswoman said school officials have not yet decided how they will spend the additional funding for homeless students but will in the next few weeks.

State Senate President Toni Atkins has helped secure the San Diego Unified School District $250,000 to support homeless students next year after the district lost out on federal funding because of a missing signature on a grant application.

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