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Sandy Johnson Homeless Education Coordinator Iowa Department of Education Equity Training Day, January 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Sandy Johnson Homeless Education Coordinator Iowa Department of Education Equity Training Day, January 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sandy Johnson Homeless Education Coordinator Iowa Department of Education Equity Training Day, January 2014

2 McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act Title X, Part C of ESAS “A Brief Overview”

3 Causes of Homelessness Lack of affordable housing Foreclosures Poverty Economic recession Unemployment Health problems Lack of health insurance Addition disorders Mental health Domestic Violence Natural or other disasters Abuse/neglect (unaccompanied youth)

4 How many children & youth experience homelessness? Schools collect data on enrolled students known to be experiencing homelessness Nationwide, 1,065,794 homeless students indentified by public schools in the 2010-11 school year; an increase of 57% from the 2006-07 school year (pre-recession). 10% of all children living in poverty 1.6-1.7 million youth experience a runaway or “throwaway” episode each year.

5 Unaccompanied Youth - Homeless on Their Own Some youth become homeless with their families, but end up on their own due to lack of space in temporary accommodations or shelter policies that prohibit adolescent boys Many unaccompanied youth have fled abuse and/dysfunction in the home. National studies have found that 20-40% of unaccompanied youth were sexually abused in their homes; 40-60% were physically abused. Over two-thirds of callers to Runaway Hotline report that at least one of their parents abuses drugs or alcohol. 21-53% of homeless youth have a history of out-of-home care through the child welfare system Some have been thrown own for a variety of reasons sexual orientation, pregnancy, behavior disagreements, etc.

6 What does homelessness look like in Iowa schools? 2012-13 School Year Iowa schools reported 6,968 homeless students PK-12

7 Primary Nighttime Residence In Iowa, school districts reported the following homeless student counts & their primary nighttime residence in 2012-13: Living Doubled-up 4899 Shelters, Transitional housing Awaiting Foster Care 1466 Hotels/Motels 511 Unsheltered 92 Total Homeless Students 6,968

8 Definition of Homeless Who Qualifies for Services Who is considered “homeless” according to McKinney-Vento Homeless definition on handouts Children/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”). Old (incorrect) definitions are still out there…..

9 Definition of Homeless Living in motels, hotels, camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations Living in emergency or transitional shelters Abandoned in hospitals Camp grounds Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (UHY) Awaiting foster care placement

10 10

11 = Equal Access = Homeless students have equal access to all programs: Special Ed., ELL programs, Vocational Ed., Gifted programs Homeless students automatically qualify for Title I, Free school meals, and after school programs. Homeless preschoolers may be given priority enrollment Unaccompanied homeless youth have the right to enroll without a legal guardian

12 Barriers to Education for Homeless Children and Youth Enrollment requirements (school records, health records, proof of residence) 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 Lack of awareness about homelessness (including the definition) and about mandated and available services

13 Despite these barriers…. School is both a safety net and a ladder out of poverty and homelessness Stability Teachers, counselors, nurses, and other adult mentors Pathway to higher education Experiencing Success Friends Meals Sense of normalcy Self-esteem Safety Talents & interests Job Skills

14 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; reauthorized by Title X, Part C of ESEA Helps Remove Barriers Main Themes: School Stability School access Support for academic success Helps students considered “homeless” to enroll and succeed in school Requires each state to have a McKinney-Vento State Coordinator Requires each public school district to have a Local Homeless Education Liaison

15 District Liaison All local school districts must have a homeless liaison District liaisons must ensure that: Homeless children & youth are identified Homeless students enroll in, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the schools of the district Homeless families, children, and youth receive educational services

16 District Liaison – cont. Parents or guardians are informed of educational opportunities available to their children Public notice of the educational rights is disseminated Enrollment disputes are mediated Liaisons are required to assist homeless unaccompanied youth in placement and enrollment decisions

17 District Liaison – cont. Liaisons are required to ensure that homeless unaccompanied youth are immediately enrolled in school Liaisons are required to assist children and youth who do not have immunizations Liaison are required to collaborate with school personnel, the local community, and the state coordinator

18 Liaisons Determine Eligibility Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis by examining the living arrangement of each child/youth Some instances will be clear –cut; others will require further inquiry and maybe a judgment call Use fixed, regular, and adequate as the guiding principle; if the living arrangement does not meet all three criteria, it likely will be considered a homeless situation Liaisons must get the facts & analyze the facts

19 Determining Eligibility –Doubled up McKinney-Vento defines “double-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 mutual choice as a plan for mutual benefit? How permanent is the living arrangement intended to be? Where would the family live if not doubled up? Is the living arrangement fixed, regular, and adequate?

20 Determining Eligibility –Awaiting Foster Care Placement Children in foster care face high residential and school mobility academic challenges, educational discontinuity Eligibility must be reviewed in the context of the state and local child welfare policies In Iowa, awaiting foster care placement/emergency placement is typically under 30 days - another move would be anticipated for the child Children in foster care do not qualify as homeless

21 School Selection Students experiencing homelessness have the right to attend one of two schools: 1. Local Attendance Area School Any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend 2. School of Origin The school attended when permanently housed, or The school in which the student was last enrolled

22 School Selection – cont. For school selection, a “best interest” determination must occur; ideally, the parents and school dialogue and come to an agreement; if there is disagreement, the dispute resolution process is used Students can stay in their school of origin the entire time they are homeless, and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing If a student is sent to a school other than that requested by a parent or guardian, the district must provide a written explanation to the parent or guardian of its decision and their right to appeal

23 School Selection – cont. If a student becomes homeless in between school years, he/she can continue attending the school of origin for the following school year Students can stay in their school of origin the entire time they are homeless, and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing

24 Feasibility - Sample Criteria Continuity of instruction Age of the child/youth Safety of the student Length of stay in shelter or temporary housing Student’s need for special instructional programs Impact of commute on education School placement of siblings Time remaining in the school year

25 Immediate Enrollment “Enroll” and “enrollment” are defined to include attending classes and participating fully in school activities Homeless children must be immediately enrolled No prior records are needed, but should be obtained by the enrolling school as quickly as possible This includes birth certificates, social security numbers, immunizations records, transcripts, and other records

26 Enrollment Strategies Train all school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers and principals on the legal requirements for enrollment Review and revise District policies, as necessary Develop residency forms to replace typical proof of residency Accept school records directly from families and youth Establish school-based immunization clinic or other opportunities for on-site immunizations

27 Transportation Districts must transport homeless students to and from the school of origin, at the parent's or guardian's request (or the liaison’s request for unaccompanied youth) o 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 or share the responsibility and cost o Districts must provide students in homeless situations with transportation services comparable to those provided to other students

28 Transportation Strategies Coordinate with local housing authorities and placement agencies to house students near their school of origin Re-route school buses (including special education or other buses), and ensure that buses travel to shelters, transitional living programs, and motels If the districts cannot agree on who will pay the costs, the districts must share the costs equally

29 Transportation Strategies Provide passes for public transportation, including passes for caretakers when necessary Reimburse parents, guardians, or homeless unaccompanied youth for gas Use approved van or taxi services Use local funds for transportation

30 Dispute Resolution Whenever there is a disagreement, the school must: Provide a written explanation to parents/youth, including the right to appeal. Contact liaison to assist in settling the dispute with parents, guardian, or youth. Liaison carries out the dispute resolution process at the local level. Immediately enroll student in school according to parent’s wishes Keep the student enrolled until the dispute is settled Provide transportation to the school of origin If dispute is not resolved at the district level, refer case to the state

31 Title I Requirements Homeless children are by definition automatically eligible for Title I services Requires set aside reservation to be placed in Title I application budget for categorical funding This reservation requirement is not formula driven. The amount reserved is to be determined by the district, as appropriate Requires a description of the Title I services to be placed in the Title I application

32 Title I Set Aside Establish a formula to allocate Title I set-asides for homeless children and youth Use Title I funds (including set-aside funds) to meet the basic needs of students experiencing homelessness (school supplies, health/hygiene supplies, clothing to meet school dress requirements) Use Title I funds to provide tutoring and/or outreach services to children and youth living in shelters, transitional living programs, motels, and other temporary residences

33 Prohibited Uses of Title I Set Aside Do not pay for: Transportation to/from the school of origin for the regular school day – Rent (Never pay for rent with Title I funds) Utilities Clothing for parents

34 Access to Services Homeless students are automatically eligible to receive free school meals; the USDA permits local liaisons and shelter directors to qualify homeless students for free meals by providing a list of names with effective dates IDEA includes special provisions for serving homeless students with disabilities. Undocumented students have the right to attend public school (Plyer v. Do) and are covered by the McKinney- Vento Act to the same extent as other eligible students.

35 Resources National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) NCHE Helpline 800-308-2145

36 Contact Local Homeless Education Liaison Contact your local school district administration office State Coordinator for Homeless Education Sandy Johnson Iowa Department of Education 515-281-3965 National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) http: // 800-308-2145

37 “Education is the only permanent solution to poverty. And I’m a firm believer, having worked in homelessness, that education is the only permanent solution to homelessness.” Kathy Cox, Administrator of YMCA’s Transitional Living Center in El Paso, TX

38 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Purpose and Evolution of Homeless Education Find kids; Get them in School; Count them; Find out how they are doing; Actually help them grow.

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