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Dona Bolt State Coordinator, Homeless Education Oregon Dept. of Education GUIDANCE: National Center on Homeless Education

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Presentation on theme: "Dona Bolt State Coordinator, Homeless Education Oregon Dept. of Education GUIDANCE: National Center on Homeless Education"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dona Bolt State Coordinator, Homeless Education Oregon Dept. of Education GUIDANCE: National Center on Homeless Education 2011-12 McKinney-Vento Homeless Education: Essentials & Strategies

2 Goals for Today o Learn about services and resources from McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Programs and ESEA Title I-A Set-Asides o Explore new & advanced MV topics o Learn about good practices & strategies o Meet new colleagues

3 Today’s Topics Determining Eligibility Title IA Support for Homeless Students Preschool for Young Homeless Children Unaccompanied Youth Questions & Answers

4 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act o Also called “Title X” under NCLB o Main themes: Immediate public school access School stability & right to attend school-of-origin Support for academic success Student-centered, best interest decision-making Crucial role of the District Liaison Inter-agency Coordination – local & state

5 Determining Eligibility Some instances will be clear, others will require a judgment call on the part of the Liaison. Please feel free to ask State Coordinator or Liaison peers for advice on tough calls Use “fixed, regular, and adequate” as your standard

6 Determining Eligibility (cont.) FOUR LIVING SITUATIONS FOR EHCY In Shelter or Transitional Housing Unsheltered (inadequate, substandard or overcrowded housing; camping; on streets, in cars) In Motels, Hotels Sharing Housing due to economic, DV or other hardship (includes awaiting foster care, living with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, e.g. in garage or on couch)

7 Determining Eligibility (cont.) Follow a process: – Get the facts of the specific case – Analyze the facts Is the living situation listed in the McKinney- Vento definition? If not listed in the definition, is the living situation another kind of situation that is not fixed, regular, and adequate? o Always determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis

8 Sharing Housing: “Doubled-up in housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason” – Why did the family move in together? Due to crisis, or by plan for mutual benefit and sharing of rent? – How permanent is the arrangement meant to be? – Is it fixed, regular, and adequate? “Awaiting foster care placement” – Collaborate with your local child welfare agency – Determine whether the placement is temporary, emergency, or permanent Determining Eligibility (cont.)

9 Substandard Housing (Unsheltered) o No official federal or state definition o Common definitions of “substandard housing” o Dwelling declared unfit for habitation o Inoperable indoor plumbing in kitchen or bathroom o Absent, inadequate and/or unsafe electrical service o Inadequate or unsafe source of heat o Overcrowded: o defined by U.S. Census as more than 1.5 people per livable room (excludes kitchen & bath) o HUD’s Public Housing Quality Standards mandate no more than 2 persons per bedroom Determining Eligibility (cont)

10 Homeless students are categorically eligible Title IA of the ESEA requires districts to set aside Title IA funds to be used to serve homeless students; these funds can be used: – To support homeless students not attending a Title IA school – To provide services to homeless students that are not ordinarily provided to other Title I students, such as assistance from the Homeless Liaison Title IA Set-Asides

11 The Title IA Set-Aside: Using the Funds o Must be used to support the academic achievement of the child or youth o Can include services provided by Liaisons o Tutoring (including in schools, shelters, motels, and other places where homeless students live) o Transportation to participate in before or afterschool activities o Health, nutrition, and other social services, if not available from any other source (including basic needs, such as eyeglasses and/or hearing aids)

12 Title IA Set-Asides: Non-Permissible Use of Funds o Transportation to/from the school of origin* o Rent or Motel stays o Utilities or debt payments for families or students o Clothing for parents or guardians o Prom dresses o Class rings o Yearbooks *NOTE: the upcoming reauthorizations of MV and ESEA may result in school transportation becoming an allowable expenditure for homeless student under Title IA! Stay tuned!!

13 Liaisons: use a Family Intake Form to keep record of younger siblings of K-12 students Liaisons must ensure that children age 3-5 have access to public preschool programs (Head Start, Oregon Pre-K, Early Childhood Educational Intervention) If the preschool is public school-based, the school must provide transportation to homeless preschoolers comparable to that provided to housed preschoolers. Districts are not obligated at this time to provide transportation to preschools outside of public schools. Preschool: McKinney-Vento

14 Prioritize homeless students for enrollment – May weigh homelessness as a risk factor – May reserve slots for young homeless children Cannot delay enrollment for lack of documentation, same as with K-12 students Districts can use MV Subgrant funds to provide early childhood education programs that are not provided through other funds Preschool: McKinney-Vento

15 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth o “Unaccompanied” means not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian – not with their family. o An unaccompanied youth’s living situation must meet the EHCY definition to qualify (e.g., “couch-surfing” is Sharing Housing). o No lower age limit for unaccompanied youth; upper age limit is the same as Oregon Compulsory Education law: age 18+, or age 21 for Special Education students o A youth is eligible regardless of whether he/she was asked to leave home or chose to leave. If a district is wary of enrolling a “voluntary runaway,” at least connect the family with mediation services.

16 Unaccompanied Youth (cont.) In Oregon: – School staff are mandatory reporters of suspected physical or emotional abuse – Schools are not required under Oregon law to report runaways – Medical consent Minors age 16 and older, in most cases, can consent to their own medical care Emergency care can be given to a minor of any age without parental consent if this is deemed medically necessary by a qualified person - so call 911 for emergency medical help

17 Enrolling Unaccompanied Youth Common methods of enrollment: 1.Responsible adult enrolls (does not have to be Legal Guardian) 2.Youth enrolls himself/herself (if 16 or older) 3.District Liaison enrolls unaccompanied youth The person who enrolls the youth generally signs forms and makes educational decisions; reviews Report Cards, monitors attendance and school progress

18 Strategies for Serving Unaccompanied Youth Don’t assume they need alternative learning programs – mainstream when possible Provide alternative school programs when appropriate, such as vocational education, school-to-work programs Provide a safe place and homework help at school for unaccompanied youth to access as needed Permit exceptions to school policies on (e.g.) tardiness, absences, to accommodate circumstances Assist with credit accrual and credit recovery A high school diploma is best, but a GED is next Connect to local RHY Programs where available

19 Strategies for Serving Unaccompanied Youth Know the hazards to runaway and homeless youths related to Sexual Trafficking. New research shows that an unaccompanied youth will likely be solicited to trade sex for shelter, or earn money from sex, within two days of beginning to live on the streets – whether they chose to leave home, were abandoned by their parents, or fled foster care… TWO DAYS! They are also at-risk of rape & abuse adult strangers.

20 Dispute Resolution Homeless students and parents have the right to dispute a school placement determination if they would prefer a different placement at either their school-of-origin or a public school in the area where they currently reside. Every District must have a Homeless Student Placement Dispute Resolution Policy, and be prepared to implement an immediate appeals process.

21 Dispute Resolution (cont.) Homeless students and parents must be informed of their right to appeal school placement determinations, along with their other MVA rights. A written explanation of a school placement determination must be made to a parent or unaccompanied student when a placement is disputed, including appeals procedures. ODE Website:


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