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North Carolina Homeless Education Program 1-800-659-3204 By Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator T HE M C K INNEY -V ENTO H OMELESS A SSISTANCE.

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Presentation on theme: "North Carolina Homeless Education Program 1-800-659-3204 By Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator T HE M C K INNEY -V ENTO H OMELESS A SSISTANCE."— Presentation transcript:

1 North Carolina Homeless Education Program 1-800-659-3204 By Lisa Phillips, State Coordinator T HE M C K INNEY -V ENTO H OMELESS A SSISTANCE A CT : K NOWING AND I MPLEMENTING THE L AW

2 NC S TATS Homeless students in K -12 Grade 25,392 in 2010-2011 21,300 in 2009-2010 18,815 in 2008-2009 16,947 in 2007-2008

3 A DDITIONAL D ATA  Almost 1 million children in K -12 grade were identified homeless in America  Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth runaway each year  Over 7000 runaways are reported annually in NC  1+ million youth ages 12-17 become homeless unaccompanied youth each year

4 T HE M C K INNEY -V ENTO A CT  Main themes of the McKinney-Vento Act  School access  School stability  Support for academic success  Child-centered, best interest decision making  Critical role of the local homeless education liaison

5 L OCAL L IAISONS  Local liaisons play a critical role in the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act  Every school district must designate a local homeless education liaison.  Local liaison responsibilities include:  Identifying homeless children and youth  Ensuring that homeless students can enroll immediately and participate fully in school

6 L OCAL L IAISONS ( CONT )  Informing parents, guardians, or youth of educational rights  Supporting unaccompanied youth in school selection and dispute resolution  Linking homeless students with educational and other services, including preschool and health services  Ensuring the public posting of educational rights through the school district and community; NCHE Educational Rights Posters are available at  Ensuring that disputes are resolved promptly  Collaborating with other district programs and community agencies

7 W HO Q UALIFIES F OR S ERVICES ?  Children or youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:  Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (“doubling up”)  Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations  Living in emergency or transitional shelters  Abandoned in hospitals

8 W HO Q UALIFIES ? ( 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, or a similar setting  Migratory children living in the above circumstances  Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances

9 D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “T HE G ROUND R ULES ”  Reference NCHE’s Determining Eligibility and Confirming Eligibility briefs at  Determinations are made on a case-by- case basis by examining the living arrangement of each child or youth  Some instances will be clear-cut; others will require further inquiry and then a judgment call

10  Use fixed, regular, and adequate as your guiding principles; if the living arrangement does not meet all three criteria, it likely will be considered a homeless situation  The list of examples given in the definition describes common homeless situations, but is not exhaustive D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “T HE G ROUND R ULES ” ( CONT )

11  Fixed: Stationary, permanent, and not subject to change  Regular: Used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis (e.g. nightly)  Adequate: Sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments Consider: Can the student go to the SAME PLACE (fixed) EVERY NIGHT (regular) to sleep in a SAFE AND SUFFICIENT SPACE (adequate)? D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “F IXED, R EGULAR, AND A DEQUATE ?”

12  Step 1: Get the facts  Step 2: Analyze the facts  Does the living situation fit into one of the specific examples of homelessness listed in the law?  Is the living arrangement another type of situation that is not fixed, regular, and adequate? D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “T HE P ROCESS ”

13  Step 3: Get Additional Input  Contact your local homeless liaison for the district  Visit for additional information and  Contact your State Coordinator’s office at 1-800-659- 3204  Contact the NCHE helpline at 800-308-2145 or D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “T HE P ROCESS ” ( CONT )

14 D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “D OUBLED - UP ”  McKinney-Vento defines “doubled-up” as “sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason”  Considerations: Why did the family move in together? Due to a crisis or by mutual choice as a plan for mutual benefit? How permanent is the living arrangement intended to be? Where would the family live if not doubling up? Is the living arrangement fixed, regular, and adequate?

15 D ETERMINING E LIGIBILITY : “A WAITING F OSTER C ARE P LACEMENT ”  Children in foster care face high residential and school mobility, academic challenges, educational discontinuity  Eligibility must be reviewed in the context of state and local child welfare policies;  Use “fixed, regular, and adequate” as your guiding concepts

16 S CHOOL S ELECTION  Students experiencing homelessness have the right to attend one of two schools:  Local Attendance Area School Any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend  School of Origin The school attended when permanently housed; or The school in which the student was last enrolled

17  For school selection, a “best interest” determination must occur; ideally, the parents/guardians and school dialogue and come to an agreement; if there is a disagreement, the dispute resolution process is used  Best interest: keep homeless students in their schools of origin, to the extent feasible, unless this is against the parent’s or guardian’s wishes  Students can continue attending their school of origin the entire time they are homeless, and until the end of any school year in which they move into permanent housing  If a student becomes homeless in between school years, he or she can continue attending the school of origin for the following school year S CHOOL S ELECTION ( CONT )

18 S CHOOL OF O RIGIN AND F EASIBILITY  Feasibility factors listed in U.S. Department of Education Guidance:  The age of the child or youth  The distance of a commute and the impact it may have on the student's education  Personal safety issues  A student's need for special instruction (e.g., special education and related services)  The length of anticipated stay in a temporary shelter or other temporary location  The time remaining in the school year

19 H OW I S F EASIBILITY D ETERMINED ?  Reference NCHE’s Guiding the Discussion on School Selection brief at  The child’s best interest is at the forefront  Determining best interest is a case-by-case determination  There is no specific time or distance limit placed on transporting a homeless child to the school of origin; consider the unique situation of the student and how the transportation will affect the student’s education

20  States and districts must develop, review, and revise policies to remove barriers to the school enrollment and retention of homeless children and youth  McKinney-Vento defines enrollment as attending classes and participating fully in school activities  The McKinney-Vento Act supersedes state or local law or practice when there is a conflict [U.S. Constitution, Article VI] E NROLLMENT

21  Homeless children and youth have the right to enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documentation normally required for enrollment  If a student does not have immunizations, or immunization or medical records, the local liaison must assist immediately in obtaining them, and the student must be enrolled in the interim E NROLLMENT ( CONT )

22 T RANSPORTATION  Districts must transport homeless students to and from the school of origin, at a parent’s or guardian’s request (or at the liaison’s request for unaccompanied youth)  If the student’s temporary residence and the school of origin are in the same district, that district must arrange transportation  If the student is living outside the district of origin, the district where the student is living and the district of origin must determine how to divide the responsibility and cost, or they must share the responsibility and cost equally

23  Districts must provide students in homeless situations with transportation services comparable to those provided to other students  Districts can consider other safe transportation options beyond the school bus T RANSPORTATION ( CONT )

24  Whenever a dispute arises, the parent, guardian, or youth must be provided with a written explanation of the school’s decision, including the right to appeal  The school must refer the parent, guardian, or youth to the local liaison to carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible, in accordance with the state plan D ISPUTE R ESOLUTION

25  While a dispute is being resolved, the student must be admitted immediately into the requested school and provided with services  Documentation should be kept for all local liaison interventions with parents, and not just formal disputes D ISPUTE R ESOLUTION

26 U NACCOMPANIED Y OUTH : T HE B ASICS  An unaccompanied youth’s living arrangement must meet the Act’s definition of homeless for him/her to qualify for McKinney-Vento services  The McKinney-Vento Act defines unaccompanied youth as a youth “not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian”  Local liaisons must support unaccompanied youth in school selection and dispute resolution processes

27 U NACCOMPANIED Y OUTH : T HE B ASICS ( CONT )  “Age limits”  Lower: There is no lower age limit for unaccompanied youth  Upper: The upper age limit (as with all McKinney-Vento eligible students) is the state’s upper age limit for public education  A youth can be eligible regardless of whether he/she was asked to leave the home or “chose” to leave; sometimes there is “more than meets the eye” for youth’s home life situations

28 T HE S CHOOL ’ S C HARGE  Schools first and foremost are educational agencies  The school’s primary responsibility and goal is to enroll and educate, in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Act (federal); federal law supersedes state and local law  Schools do not need to understand and/or agree with all aspects of a student’s home life to educate him/her

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