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DEBRA H. JACOBSON HODGES, LOIZZI, EISENHAMMER, RODICK, & KOHN LLP ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (847) 670-9000 IASBO Conference May 19, 2010 Student Homelessness:

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Presentation on theme: "DEBRA H. JACOBSON HODGES, LOIZZI, EISENHAMMER, RODICK, & KOHN LLP ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (847) 670-9000 IASBO Conference May 19, 2010 Student Homelessness:"— Presentation transcript:

1 DEBRA H. JACOBSON HODGES, LOIZZI, EISENHAMMER, RODICK, & KOHN LLP ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (847) IASBO Conference May 19, 2010 Student Homelessness: Your Top Ten Questions Answered

2 Question #1: How Big is the Problem? National: school year 794,617 homeless children were enrolled in public schools 17 percent increase from the school year 8.5 million children between ages 5-17 live in poverty, or 16.5% (2008)

3 Question #1: How Big is the Problem? Illinois: school year 22,000 homeless children served by Illinois schools ISBE estimates actual # closer to 60,000 Increase from 2,628 to 4,399 in eight suburban counties between 2006 and state poverty rate was 17%

4 Defined by the Education for Homeless Children Act and the federal McKinney Vento Act, homeless students are those who: lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

5 Children sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

6 Children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

7 Children that have a primary nighttime residence, public or private, that is not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation; Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

8 Children living in emergency or transitional shelters; abandoned in hospitals; awaiting foster care placement; Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

9 migratory children living in a homeless situation; and unaccompanied youth (“runaways” and “throwaways”). Question #2: Who are “Homeless Students”?

10 Duration There are no time limits on homelessness. If a student becomes permanently housed during the academic term, he/she can finish the term at his/her school of origin. Affirmative duty to identify.

11 Work with your district’s Homeless Liaison and be observant of possible warning signs: frequent moving; more than one family has the same address; motel/public facility addresses; poor appearance/hygiene; lack of records. Question # 3: How Can Schools Identify Homeless Students?

12 Question #4: Where May a Homeless Student Enroll? 1. “School of Origin”: where student was last enrolled when permanently housed, or school where student was last enrolled.

13 Question #4: Where May a Homeless Student Enroll? 2. Any school at which non-homeless students living in the same area are eligible to attend.

14 Question #4: Where May a Homeless Student Enroll? The law requires districts to keep students in their school of origin “to the extent feasible.”

15 Question #5: What Documentation May a District Require of a Homeless Student Upon Enrollment?  School districts may not require a homeless student to produce any particular documentation that may normally be required for enrollment such as proof of residency, medical records, or prior academic records.

16 Question #5: What Documentation May a District Require of a Homeless Student Upon Enrollment?  If a child and his parent/guardian are sharing housing with others due to loss of housing or other hardship, the district may, after 18 months and on a yearly basis thereafter, request information to establish that the hardship still exists.

17 Question #6: What Should I Do When a Homeless Student Seeks to Enroll in My District? Assuming the child currently lives in the attendance area or if the school is the child’s “school of origin,” immediately enroll the child Notify District’s Homeless Liaison Determine transportation arrangements

18 Question #6: What Should I Do When a Homeless Student Seeks to Enroll in My District? Free and Reduced Breakfast/Lunch Fee Waivers Immunizations Transfer of Records

19 Question #7: What Transportation Must Be Provided to a Homeless Student and Who Pays? If child is living in school of origin, then that district continues to provide transportation;

20 Question #7: What Transportation Must Be Provided to a Homeless Student and Who Pays? If child is attending school of origin, but no longer lives in that district, then the two districts agree on apportionment of responsibility and costs;

21 Question #7: What Transportation Must Be Provided to a Homeless Student and Who Pays? If no agreement, then equally shared.

22 Common Transportation Questions: 1. How far is too far to travel to the district of origin?

23 Common Transportation Questions: 2. What if the child is crossing state lines?

24 Common Transportation Questions: 3. Can a school district reimburse parents/youth for transportation?

25 Common Transportation Questions: 4. Is door-to-door transportation required?

26 Common Transportation Questions: 5. Is public transportation an option to meet the transportation requirement?

27 Common Transportation Questions: 6. Is summer school transportation required?

28 Question #8: What Public Funding Sources Are Available? McKinney-Vento Federal Grant Program: FF Y 2011: $1.6M available statewide for Lead Area Liaisons (LALs) grants; JJ une 1st deadline; PP urpose of the RFP is to fund one LAL in each of the six areas of the state to assist school district homeless liaisons in each area; LL AL’s will award competitive subgrants to school districts based on need and quality of applications.

29 Question #8: What Public Funding Sources Are Available?  FY 2010: Over $2.5M in Federal ARRA funds were available based on need (Title I) Title I, Part A Funds (certain uses only)

30 McKinney-Vento Subgrants: Generally, districts may use the grant awards to assist homeless children in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Question #9: How Can My District Use McKinney-Vento Subgrant Funds and Title I Funds Towards Student Homelessness?

31 Instructional services Evaluations Awareness programs Health referrals Question #9: How Can My District Use McKinney-Vento Subgrant Funds and Title I Funds Towards Student Homelessness?

32 Transportation costs not otherwise provided through federal, state, or local funds Before and after-school programs and mentoring Record transfer fees School supplies Question #9: How Can My District Use McKinney-Vento Subgrant Funds and Title I Funds Towards Student Homelessness?

33 Title I, Part A Funds: Mandatory Set Aside: Districts must reserve Title I funds necessary to provide comparable services to homeless students not attending Title I schools.

34 Title I, Part A Funds: Methods to calculate Title I set-asides: 1.Identify students’ needs and fund accordingly 2.Multiply homeless student count by Title I, Part A per-pupil allocation

35 Title I, Part A Funds: Methods to calculate Title I set-asides: 3.Reserve funds equal to or greater than McKinney- Vento subgrant request 4.Reserve a % based on district’s poverty level or total Title I, Part A allocation

36 Title I, Part A Funds: Homeless children are automatically eligible for Title I services provided to assist students in meeting state learning standards.

37 Title I, Part A Funds: Authorized uses: Districts may use reserved funds for other appropriate discretionary expenditures If a child is no longer homeless during the year, the child generally remains Title I eligible for rest of the school year.

38 Title I, Part A Funds: Authorized uses: Districts may not use these funds to transport homeless students, but may use for formerly homeless students.

39 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? Homeless Liaison mediates If mediation is unsuccessful, district sends a written statement with basis for denial

40 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? Child/parent is referred to ombudsperson appointed by the ROE and notified of low-cost/free legal services

41 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? Child is admitted and transported to the school chosen by the parent or guardian until final resolution of the dispute.

42 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? The ombudsperson convenes a meeting of all parties and attempts to resolve the dispute within five (5) school days after receiving notice of the dispute, if possible.

43 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? Ombudsperson communicates the decision in writing The parties may appeal to the State Coordinator to review the decision for legal compliance

44 Question # 10: What Happens If There Is a Dispute About a Student’s Homelessness? State Coordinator reviews and makes recommendation to State Superintendent who issues final determination Civil action

45 THE END


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