Presentation on theme: "Meeting the Needs of Homeless Students: What Every LEA Must Do May 12, 2010 Webinar."— Presentation transcript:
Meeting the Needs of Homeless Students: What Every LEA Must Do May 12, 2010 Webinar
Objectives LEAs’ responsibilities in fulfilling legislative requirements in educating homeless students Roles and responsibilities of every LEA liaison Supplemental resources for further study and support
Homeless Definition Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence— – Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (doubled-up) – Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations – Living in emergency or transitional shelters – Abandoned in hospitals 3
Definition (cont.) Definition (cont.) – Awaiting foster care placement – Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live – Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, etc. – Migratory children living in above circumstances – Unaccompanied youth who are experiencing the above circumstances Case-by-case determination … 4
Brief History of the McKinney-Vento Act Stewart B. McKinney Act signed into law. Required states to review and revise residency requirements for enrollment of homeless children and youth McKinney Act amended. All enrollment barriers to be eliminated. Access to and academic success in school should be pursued. Allowed direct educational services with McKinney funds.
Brief History of the McKinney-Vento Act cont Education portion of McKinney Act included in Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA). Added preschool services, greater parental input, and emphasis on interagency collaboration. 2001– Reauthorization as the McKinney- Vento Act. Strengthened requirements to provide access and success; required local liaison in all LEAs. Signed by President G. W. Bush on January 8, 2002.
Legal Responsibilities and Activities of LEAs 1.Ensure access to school and appropriate services – Designate a homeless liaison – Review and revise policies that may impede homeless students’ access to school – Disseminate public notice of educational rights of homeless students, increasing awareness of their educational rights
1. Ensure access to school and appropriate services cont. – Ensure identification of children and youth experiencing homelessness – Immediately enroll homeless children and youth, eliminating delays caused by lack of records or other enrollment requirements – Ensure that homeless students are not segregated or stigmatized because of their homelessness – Maintain and transfer records in a timely fashion – Assist with immunizations
1. Ensure access to school and appropriate services cont. – Offer services to homeless students that are offered to non-homeless students, including transportation and educational services for which the student is eligible (e.g., Head Start; Even Start; preschool; LEP/ESL/ELL programs or services; gifted; special education; etc) – Ensure coordination between homeless education and Title I, Part A, programs – Promote awareness among staff of the needs of students experiencing homelessness
Legal Responsibilities and Activities of LEAs 2.Reduce school transfers and enhance educational stability and continuity – Keep children in their school of origin to the extent feasible, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of parents/guardians. – Ensure the right to attend school of origin extends for the entire duration of homelessness and that children who become housed during the academic year may continue their education in the school of origin for the remainder of the academic year.
Legal Responsibilities and Activities of LEAs 3.Strengthen parental choice and involvement – Ensure homeless parents are fully informed of the enrollment options and educational opportunities available to their children. – Provide written explanation to parents should disputes arise over school selection or school enrollment and refer parents to liaisons to mediate such disputes. – Provide homeless parents with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.
Legal Responsibilities and Activities of LEAs 4. Ensure educational rights of unaccompanied youth – Immediately enroll unaccompanied youth. – Maintain unaccompanied youth in school of origin to the extent feasible, unless this is against the youth’s wishes. – Immediately enroll youth in the school to which they seek enrollment pending resolution of any disputes regarding such placement. – When applying for McKinney-Vento funding, include assessment of the needs of unaccompanied youth in the application.
Legal Responsibilities and Activities of LEAs 5. Ensure access to public preschool programs for young homeless children – Inform preschools operated by the SEA or LEA of McKinney-Vento Act provisions related to young homeless children. – Develop policies and strategies to facilitate the enrollment of young homeless children in preschool programs.
2007 Head Start Reauthorization Homelessness provisions (Sec [42 U.S.C. 9835] m) The Secretary shall issue rules to establish policies and procedures to remove barriers to the enrollment and participation of homeless children in Head Start programs. Such rules shall require Head Start agencies— (1) to implement policies and procedures to ensure that homeless children are identified and prioritized for enrollment; (2) to allow families of homeless children to apply to, enroll in, and attend Head Start programs while required documents, such as proof of residency, immunization and other medical records, birth certificates, and other documents, are obtained within a reasonable time frame;
2007 Head Start Reauthorization Homelessness provisions (Sec [42 U.S.C. 9835] To allow families of homeless children to apply to, enroll in, and attend Head Start programs while required documents, such as proof of residency, immunization and other medical records, birth certificates, and other documents, are obtained within a reasonable time frame; and (3) to coordinate individual Head Start programs with efforts to implement subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C et seq.)
2007 Head Start Reauthorization Homelessness provisions Homeless children are categorically eligible for Head Start [42 U.S.C. 9840(a)(1)(B)] – Similar to existing provision for children in foster care and recipients of public assistance – Verification of homeless living situation suffices; i.e., once a determination of homelessness has been made, a child is automatically eligible (no income documentation requirement)
2007 Head Start Reauthorization Homelessness provisions (Sec [42 U.S.C. 9835] Section 640 (m) (1) of the Head Start Act as amended requires that homeless children be prioritized for enrollment. – OHS encourages agencies to enroll homeless children based on the families description of their living situation (if that description meets the definition) while required verification of circumstances and collection of documents are obtained within a reasonable time frame. – OHS encourages grantees to engage their school district homeless liaisons, private and public shelter providers, HUD Continuums of Care, and other homeless service agencies in their service area to assist in the verification and documentation process. – OHS urges agencies to exercise sufficient care to ensure that their verification activities do not increase the risk that families may be evicted or suffer other resulting adverse consequences. For more information about Head Start and Early Head Start please visit:
Impact of Other Educational Legislation on Homeless Students The McKinney-Vento Act states that homeless students must have access to the same educational services provided to other students. Other educational legislation that makes reference to serving homeless students include the following: Head Start – must identify and remove barriers to enrollment
Impact of Other Educational Legislation on Homeless Students cont. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)- must facilitate timely assessment, placement, and continuity of services for children and youth with disabilities who experience homelessness and high mobility. Requires that homeless preschoolers and all homeless children be included in the Child Find process for early identification of special education needs. For unaccompanied youth, LEAs must appoint surrogate parents and make efforts to complete the appointment process within 30 days.
Impact of Other Educational Legislation on Homeless Students cont. Title I, Part A – homeless students attending any school in the district is eligible for Title I services. This includes schoolwide schools, targeted assistance schools, and non-Title I schools. LEAs must reserve a portion of Title I, Part A funds needed to provide services to homeless students in non-Title I schools that are comparable to those being received by other Title I students.
Impact of Other Educational Legislation on Homeless Students cont. Child Nutrition - runaway, homeless, and migrant students are categorically eligible for free school meals. District liaisons must work closely with CNP personnel to ensure that eligible homeless students receive free meals as promptly as possible.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities 1. Review local policies and procedures that may impact homeless students, such as school enrollment and access to school programs. 2. Revise local policies determined to be potential barriers for homeless students. 3. Ensure that homeless students are identified by school personnel. 4. Ensure that homeless students enroll in, and receive equal opportunity to succeed in school.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 5. Ensure that homeless families, children, and youth receive educational services for which they are eligible (free meals, Head Start, Even Start; referrals to health, mental health, dental, and other appropriate services.) 6. Ensure that parents or guardians are informed of educational and related opportunities that are available to their children and are provided meaningful opportunities to participate in their children’s education.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 7.Assist in the resolution of disputes, ensuring that they are mediated in accordance with the LEAs grievance process and the state’s dispute resolution process. 8.Facilitate transportation arrangements. 9.Ensure that parents or guardians of homeless students, and any unaccompanied youth, are fully informed of all educational rights, including right to remain in, and receive transportation to the school of origin.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 10.Post educational rights of homeless children and youth in all schools in the district. 11.Post the education rights of homeless students in the community in places where homeless families and youth may receive services (e.g., shelters, public health clinics, libraries, laundromats, etc.) 12.Inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates who work with homeless families and youth about the duties of the local liaison.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 13. Collaborate and coordinate with state coordinators, community service providers, and school personnel responsible for the provision of services to homeless students. 14. Assist unaccompanied youth in school enrollment and placement decisions, including considering the youth’s wishes in those decisions, and providing notice to the youth of the right to appeal such decisions through the dispute resolution process.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 15. Ensure that unaccompanied youth are enrolled immediately in school pending the resolution of any dispute that arises over school enrollment and placement. 16. Assist homeless students who do not have immunizations or medical records in obtaining the necessary immunizations or records.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 17. Provide professional development for school district staff to build awareness of the educational needs of homeless students, legal responsibilities of the school, and local policies and procedures. 18. Provide outreach and training to community service providers and parents.
LEA Liaison’s Responsibilities cont. 19. Oversee distribution of tutoring supplies, clothing, and other useful resources to schools. 20. Conduct a needs assessment to find out what needs to be improved in your district’s efforts to serve homeless students. 21. Conduct an evaluation of your district’s homeless education program.
Resources NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education Website: Website: Publications and briefs available for download Publications and briefs available for download Products (educational rights posters, Parent Pack folders, desktop enrollment foldouts, youth pocket handbooks, parent handbooks, NCHE brochures, etc.) – free in limited quantities Products (educational rights posters, Parent Pack folders, desktop enrollment foldouts, youth pocket handbooks, parent handbooks, NCHE brochures, etc.) – free in limited quantities Toolkit for LEA Liaisons: Toolkit for LEA Liaisons: Helpline: or Helpline: or Listserv – to join, contact Listserv – to join, contact Online tutorials and trainings: Online tutorials and trainings: