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Transportation for Homeless Students Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference Columbia, SC July 13, 2010 The National Center for Homeless Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Transportation for Homeless Students Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference Columbia, SC July 13, 2010 The National Center for Homeless Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transportation for Homeless Students Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference Columbia, SC July 13, 2010 The National Center for Homeless Education Diana Bowman, Director –

2 Today’s Outline Current picture of student homelessness Overview of the McKinney-Vento Act Transportation challenges Good practices

3 How many children experience homelessness? 10 percent of all children experiencing poverty (Urban Institute, 2001) One in 50 children will experience homelessness (National Center on Family Homelessness, 2008) 956,914 homeless children reported enrolled in school in ; a 40 percent increase over three years 539,022 homeless children in districts with MV subgrants; 11% of districts have subgrants

4 No. of Homeless Students Enrolled in SE States – StateNo. Enrolled AL12,859 AS6,344 *FL40,967 GA24,079 KY22,626 LA25,362 MS8,525 StateNo. Enrolled NC18,693 *OK12,139 SC8,738 *TN9,836 *TX80,940 *WV4, Compilation of Federal Data (NCHE) * States with > 20% increase since

5 Where do homeless children and youth live?

6 Barriers to Education for Homeless Children and Youth Enrollment requirements (school records, health records, proof of residence and guardianship) High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and educational continuity Lack of access to programs Lack of transportation Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc. Poor health, fatigue, hunger Prejudice and misunderstanding

7 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Title X, Part C of ESEA Reauthorized in 2002, ESEA currently under reauthorization Main provisions School stability Transportation Immediate enrollment Access to services Child-centered, best interest decision making Local liaison in every school district

8 Who Qualifies For Services? 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 Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations Living in emergency or transitional shelters Awaiting foster care placement Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live, such as cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus or train stations Migrant and unaccompanied students living in the above circumstances

9 School Stability Homeless students can enroll in the local attendance area school in the school district where they are currently staying or remain in their school of origin School of origin – school attended when permanently housed or in which last enrolled Best interest – keep homeless students in their schools of origin, to the extent feasible, unless this is against the parents’ or guardian’s (or unaccompanied youth’s) wishes

10 Feasibility – US ED Sample Criteria Continuity of instruction Age of the child or youth Safety of the child or youth Likely length of stay in temporary housing Likely area where the family will find permanent housing Student’s need for special instructional programs Impact of the commute on education School placement of siblings Time remaining in the school year

11 Transportation – Key Provisions LEAs must provide transportation 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 crossing LEA lines, they must determine how to divide the responsibility and share the cost, or they must share equally

12 Transportation Provisions (cont.) LEAs must provide homeless students with transportation services comparable with those of other students LEAs must eliminate barriers to the school enrollment and retention of homeless students, including transportation barriers LEAs can determine the mode of transportation Title I, Part A, funds may not be used to provide transportation to the school of origin, but may be used for other transportation needs

13 Implementation Challenges Transportation to and from the school of origin has been the number one barrier for school districts, as reported in federal data on LEAs with McKinney- Vento subgrants Lack of funding Capacity/staffing Timely arrangement Coordination across school district and/or state lines

14 Implementation challenges (cont.) Children with special needs Extra-curricular activities, summer school, after- school programs Parent involvement

15 What’s on the horizon for ESEA reauthorization? Bills introduced to Congress Allows Title I to pay for transportation to and from the school of origin Proposes higher funding for Homeless Education For information on reauthorization, visit the website for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and youth:

16 Spotlight on Good Practices - Georgia Each LEA has a transportation point of contact for homeless liaison; he/she participates in meetings with the liaison to discuss strategies One district has a transportation request form so that social workers can immediately send a request to Transportation for processing Gas cards provided for families that have cars Updates list of shelters, motels, hotels provided to Transportation Department annually Public bus passes provided for unaccompanied youth; passes provided to parents/guardians to accompany elementary/middle school youth

17 Spotlight on Good Practices – San Antonio, TX Districts in San Antonio hold a meeting at the beginning of each school year that includes homeless liaisons and transportation directors Transfer points Who initiates transportation requests and notifies parents of bus schedule for children crossing district lines Policies related to discipline Developed transportation booklet for parents

18 Spotlight on Good Practices – Rutherford County, TN Sixth largest school system in TN, adjacent to Nashville – suburban county, no public bus service 851 homeless students identified last year Transportation staff person with dedicated time to arrange services for homeless students; brainstorms solutions with homeless liaison Sometimes use bus drivers who live near shelters or student’s temporary address to add route close to the school of origin Use special education buses with more flexible schedules

19 Spotlight on Good Practices – Spartanburg, SC Identified 285 homeless students last year, transported 168 to the school of origin “The catalyst for our success is personalities” Great coordination between liaison and transportation director Motto for all: “We’re here for the children” – all on board All roles involved, including bus drivers as “front line” Interdistrict transportation came about from meetings with specific role groups – liaison to liaison, transportation director to transportation director, superintendent to superintendent

20 Spotlight on Good Practices – Jefferson County (Louisville), KY 100,000 students; 10,555 homeless students (10 percent); foreclosures, economy, lack of shelters Lots of community support – coalition of housing, shelters, juvenile justice, school district Transportation system for homeless students built over years, good coordination between homeless education program and transportation department Bus drivers are eyes and ears of the community; go above and beyond – adopt a shelter for donations

21 Spotlight on Good Practices – Guilford County, NC Transportation staff member assigned to coordinate all transportation services for homeless children Processes in-house paperwork Informs homeless liaison Reroutes buses, informs drivers, contacts parents or unaccompanied youth Notifies schools and agencies Director of transportation is not involved unless there is a specific problem, such as interdistrict and coordination problems

22 Resources from NCHE The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance center for homeless education. NCHE is located at The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Contact the Helpline: or Visit the website:

23 Links to Transportation Resources from NCHE Increasing School Stability for Students Experiencing Homelessness: Overcoming Challenges to Providing Transportation to the School of Origin: McKinney-Vento Law into Practice Brief – Transportation: Transportation for Homeless Children and Youth – Strategies for Rural School Districts: Six Strategies for Meeting Transportation Requirements:

24 National Homeless Education Conference 22 nd Annual NAEHCY Conference November 6-9, 2010 Houston, TX Attended by over 800 educators, administrators, service providers, national organizations Visit for informationwww.naehcy.org


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