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					Dispute Resolution Plus
for McKinney-Vento State Coordinators




Patricia Ann Popp, Ph.D.

NCHE State Coordinator Webinar
September 24, 2012
Goals for this afternoon:
 Context
 Proactive reminders
 Dispute resolution
    ◦ Review basics
    ◦ Tips and resources
    ◦ Best/promising practices
Context: Why Now?



 Poll: How many state level disputes have
  you experienced?
 None
 1-5
 5-10
 More than 10
An ounce of prevention….
 Liaison training
 LEA MV monitoring (include DR review)
 Tracking technical assistance and
  complaints
 Informing advocacy groups
 Using feasibility worksheets
An ounce of prevention (cont”d)
 Clear expectations
 Trauma-informed practice
 Withholding judgment
 Using an intake form while exploring
  case
 State advisory board with providers
  and liaisons (parents, if possible)
 Review DR – focus group with liaisons
  Legislative Mandate
‘‘(E) ENROLLMENT DISPUTES.—If a dispute arises over school
selection or enrollment in a school—
‘‘(i) the child or youth shall be immediately admitted to the school
in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute;
‘‘(ii) the parent or guardian of the child or youth shall be provided
with a written explanation of the school’s decision regarding school
selection or enrollment, including the rights of the parent, guardian,
or youth to appeal the decision;
‘‘(iii) the child, youth, parent, or guardian shall be referred to the
local educational agency liaison designated under paragraph
(1)(J)(ii), who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as
described in paragraph (1)(C) as expeditiously as possible after
receiving notice of the dispute; and
‘‘(iv) in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the homeless liaison
shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school
pending resolution of the dispute.
 Paragraph (g)(1)(C)
‘‘(g) STATE PLAN.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Each State shall submit to the
Secretary a plan to provide for the education of homeless
children and youths within the State. Such plan shall
include the following:
‘‘(A) A description of how such children and youths are
(or will be) given the opportunity to meet the same
challenging State academic achievement standards all
students are expected to meet.
‘‘(B) A description of the procedures the State
educational agency will use to identify such children and
youths in the State and to assess their special needs.
‘‘(C) A description of procedures for the prompt
resolution of disputes regarding the educational
placement of homeless children and youths.
US Department of Education 2004
Non-Regulatory Guidance – G-5 & G-9
    Written notice – school decision, reason,
     right to appeal
    If disputed:
    ◦ Immediately enroll in school of choice
    ◦ Refer to liaison to carry out DRP
    G-5 - Inter-district enrollment disputes
     should be resolved at the SEA level
    G-9 - SEA process to appeal LEA DRP
     decisions
    Critical Components of a Dispute
    Resolution Process
 Local procedure implemented by the liaison
 Written notification
 Immediate enrollment in school of
  preference during dispute resolution
 Informal and accessible
 Per guidance, must have an SEA level of
  appeal
Written Notice
 Contact information for liaison and SC
 Simple, detachable form to complete and
  submit to initiate dispute (school should
  give parent a copy)
 Step-by-step description of appeal
  process
 Notice of right to immediately enroll
 Notice of right to appeal to state
 Timelines for LEA and SEA level appeals
Disputable Issues:
 Eligibility
 School selection
 Participation
 Transportation
Transportation
 Contract
 Mode of transportation offered
Participation
 Regular classes
 Free school meals
 Other special programs for which student
  is eligible (e.g., special ed, gifted ed)
 Field trips
 After school activities (???)
School Selection
 SOO (possibly 2)
 Local school
 Other school children in the residency
  area can attend
Eligibility
 Challenge: protect students and schools
 Train liaisons to explain definition and
  determination to parent/student
    ◦ Checklist
    ◦ Sample eligibility letter or written notice?

   Recommendation: “Gray” case – use
    written notice and DR
Figure 1.

A Differentiated Process to
Address Conflicts
TYPES OF CONFLICTS
    McKinney-Vento Disagreements
    (Disputable)
 Remaining in school of origin
 Immediate enrollment in school of
  residency
 Homeless status when student was
  appropriately identified as homeless
  previously (e.g., doubled-up in same
  location for two years)
 Homeless status questioned due to
  additional information
MV compliance – not dispute
   School failed to inform of MV educational
    rights
   Student is not provided free meals
   Systemic non-compliance by an LEA which
    requires state intervention (failure to
    identify homelessness; lack of outreach and
    coordination within schools and
    community)
                                See Appendix C
Not MV Compliance:
Services are allowable/beneficial
   Preschool student could benefit from
    school of origin transportation
   Additional activities could enhance
    homeless identification (e.g., using a
    residency questionnaire)
   Summer school could improve student’s
    academic performance but is not required
    to pass a course
Not MV
   Student wishes to enroll in a school that
    is not an option for students in the
    residency area and is not a school of
    origin
   Parent disagrees with the services being
    offered in an IEP
   Student never lost housing
LET’S PRACTICE
Scenario # 1
   You receive a call from a liaison. Mother is
    residing in a motel. She has moved from
    another distant state where she sold her
    home. She is in the motel while deciding
    where to buy her home. She wants to
    enroll her children in a school of her
    choice. It is not the local school for the
    motel. Mom claims she can enroll her
    children there under McKinney-Vento.
Scenario # 2
   Family, identified as homeless and
    doubled up last year, is still residing
    with same family as a new school year
    begins. School tells family that the
    children must enroll in the local school
    this year.
Scenario # 3
   14 year old from another country is sent
    to live with her 18 year old sister. The
    liaison has explored the reason for the
    move and is told that the schools are
    better here and the family wants the child
    to have an education. Despite questions,
    the family does not identify loss of housing
    or economic hardship as a reason for the
    move. After the school denied enrollment,
    the sister is claiming homelessness.
Scenario # 4
   If time, request scenario from
    participants??
Documentation to maintain
 Clear, concise description of the issue
 Timeline of contacts (school, SEA,
  parent/youth)
 Emails between school and parent
 Log of phone contacts and meetings
 Best interest determination
 Eligibility information
Best/Promising Practices
 Have liaisons notify SC when issuing
  written notice
 Create an Advisory Board or MV Dispute
  Panel
 Designate administrative law judges,
  ombudsperson, or other decision-makers
  who are independent but receive
  comprehensive training
 Difficulties are
 meant to rouse,
 not discourage.
The human spirit
is to grow strong
    by conflict.
       William Ellery Channing

				
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