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					“HOMELESS 101”—
THE MCKINNEY-VENTO
HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT
               Donna Cash
State Homeless Coordinator

                   STATE OF MISSOURI
      DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND
               SECONDARY EDUCATION
                         PO BOX 480
      JEFFERSON CITY, MO 65102-0480
                       (573) 522-8763
             donna.cash@dese.mo.gov
Homelessness results from a
complex set of circumstances.
These circumstances require
people to choose between
food, shelter, and other basic
needs.
CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS
•lack of affordable housing
•deep poverty (intergenerational poverty)
•health problems
•natural and other disasters
•domestic violence
•abuse/neglect
KEY DATA CONCERNING HOMELESS
CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN AMERICA
39% of America’s homeless population are
children
42% of homeless children are under 5 years of
age and of the 42%, only 15% are enrolled in
pre-school
38% of the homeless population have less than a
high school degree by age 18
50% of the homeless population report dropping
out of school during the course of their education
HOW MANY CHILDREN
AND YOUTH EXPERIENCE
POVERTY?


a) 1.35 million children

b) 10% of all children live in poverty

c) 733,000-1.3 million youths
   POVERTY

        •affects 1.35 million children*

        •10% of all children live in poverty

        •733,000-1.3 million youths experience
        poverty every year

        •over 40% of all children who are
        homeless are under the age of 5




*Source: National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Over 12,000 Missouri
students were identified as
homeless in the 2007-2008
school year.
PROBLEMS FOR
HOMELESS CHILDREN
•Enrollment requirements – they may not have:
   oSchool or immunization records
   oProof of residence or guardianship
   oOther records needed for enrollment

•They have high mobility.
   oCreates a lack of school stability and educational continuity

•Lack of transportation, school supplies, clothing, etc.

•They may experience poor health, fatigue, and hunger.

•They often face prejudice and misunderstanding.
McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act
            Main themes include:

               •school stability

               •school access

               •support for academic success

               •child-centered, best interest
               decision making
DEFINITION
For the purposes of the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act, homelessness is described as…


“Children who lack a fixed,
regular, and adequate nighttime
residence.”

http://www.dese.mo.gov/divimprove/fedprog/discretionarygrants
Is there a time limit on
how long a student can be
considered homeless?

a) Yes, the student is only homeless for one
   school year.

b) No, there is no specific time limit on
   homelessness.
Is there a time limit on how
long a student can be
considered homeless?

No, there is no time limit on homelessness.

Whether a child or youth meets the definition of
homelessness depends upon their living situation
And their individual circumstances.


It is a case specific inquiry.
DETERMINING
ELIGIBILITY
ARE THE SMITH CHILDREN
HOMELESS?

In March, the Smith family lost their home due to a fire.
Mr. Smith’s brother is letting the family live in a trailer
on his property until the house is repaired.

Would you qualify the Smith children for services under
McKinney-Vento?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are the Smith children homeless or not? Why or why
not? What questions do you need to ask to help you
make your determination?


                How do you go about determining
                fixed, regular, and adequate?

                What services would they qualify for?
SOME EXAMPLES OF
HOMELESSNESS

•living in motels, hotels, camping grounds
•living in an emergency or transitional shelter

•living in places not designed for humans to live
•living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus
or train stations
•migratory children also qualify as homeless
when living under these same conditions
Students eligible for
McKinney-Vento services
include:

•Children who are runaways – even if their parents
have provided or are willing to provide a home for
them.

•Children who are ―throwaway children‖ should be
considered homeless until a fixed, regular, and
adequate residence is established for them.
Students eligible for
McKinney-Vento services
include:
•Children who live with friends or relatives
because of loss of housing or other similar
situation should be considered homeless.


•Children living in ―doubled up‖ situations may be
considered homeless if the family is doubled up or
tripled up because of loss of housing or a similar
situation.
 Students eligible for
 McKinney-Vento services
 include:

•School aged, unwed mothers or mother-to-be who
reside in a home for unwed mothers should be
considered homeless if they have no other available
living accommodations.

•Undocumented children and youth have the same
right to attend public school as U.S. citizens and are
covered by the McKinney-Vento Act to the same
extent as other children and youth (Plyler v. Doe).
ARE CHILDREN WHO ARE AWAITING
FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT
ELIGIBLE FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO
SERVICES?

             Yes or No?
Are children awaiting foster care
eligible for McKinney-Vento
services?


The answer is, yes.


Local homeless liaisons should coordinate with local
public social service agencies in determining how best to
assist homeless children/youth awaiting foster care
placement.
Is transitional housing considered
a homeless situation?


               Yes or No


           What do you think?
 IT IS CONSIDERED A HOMELESS
 SITUATION…YES
The McKinney-Vento Act specifically applies to children
and youth living in transitional shelters.

   This term includes transitional housing programs
   and transitional living programs.

A Federal Court affirmed that transitional housing
programs are covered by the McKinney-Vento Act.

Bullock v. Board of Education of Montgomery County,
Civ. A. DKC 2002-0709 (D. Md.) memorandum decision
filed November 4, 2002.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY NEED TO
ASK…
• Does the student have any legal rights to be
in the home? In other words, can he/she be
asked to leave at any time with no legal
recourse?
•Is the living situation intended to be
temporary or long-term?
•Did the student move into the home as an
urgent measure to avoid being on the street or
in another precarious situation?
DO INCARCERATED YOUTH
QUALIFY FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO
PROTECTION AND SERVICES.


           Yes or No?
INCARCERATED YOUTH QUALIFY
FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO
PROTECTION AND SERVICES.

No.

Children and youth who are incarcerated for violation
or an alleged violation of the law should not be
considered homeless.

Incarcerated children and youth are part of the
juvenile justice system.
THE MCKINNEY-VENTO ACT
APPLIES TO CHILDREN AND
YOUTH AGE 21 AND UNDER.


          True or False?
 THE MCKINNEY-VENTO ACT
 APPLIES TO CHILDREN AND
 YOUTH AGE 21 AND UNDER.
True.

The Act applies to children and youth age 21 and under,
consistent with their eligibility for public education
services under state and federal law.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),
provides rights to access services until age 22, with the
exception of students with disabilities who are
Incarcerated as adults and students with disabilities
who have earned a high school diploma.
If a student finds temporary
housing across state lines from
the school of origin, does the
McKinney-Vento Act still
apply?

            Yes or No?
If a student finds temporary housing across
state lines from the school of origin, does the
McKinney-Vento Act still apply?

Yes.
Since the McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law,
it takes precedence over state laws.

You should have inter-LEA agreements that
address potential transportation issues that may
arise as homeless students transfer from one LEA
to another.

Homeless students in this situation should be
allowed to attend their school of origin (if they wish)
and you must provide transportation.
Homeless eligibility can be handled in
such a way that it does not violate
privacy or jeopardize housing
arrangements. It is up to the local
liaison, enrollment staff, and/or other
school personnel to be sensitive and
discreet.
                      Maria

Maria and her seven-year-old and nine-year-old
daughters have just moved into a homeless shelter.
Maria visits the neighborhood school to enroll her
daughters. She is given a list of required documents—
items she does not have.

Maria leaves, believing her daughters cannot attend
the school.

What went wrong here?
Things to consider…

•Should Maria be able to enroll her children?

•Did/what went wrong?

•What should have been done?




What could be done to prevent this from
happening in a school in your district?
BREAK TIME!
ENROLLMENT
A student experiencing
homelessness should be
enrolled

 a) within 3 days of attempting to enroll

 b) immediately

 c) not until transportation has been arranged

 d) not until health information has been obtained
A student experiencing
homelessness should be
enrolled


         Immediately
ENROLLMENT
•Enrollment questions must be grounded in
sensitivity and respect.

•Invasive probing may destabilize the family or
youth further and may create a barrier to the
student’s enrollment, thereby violating the
McKinney-Vento Act.

•Additionally, employing these techniques may
violate the Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act (FERPA).
ENROLLMENT              continued…

•Do put good policies and procedures in place

•Keep it positive and supportive instead of
invasive and threatening

•Talk with parents and students

•Do sign the student up for free lunch

•Get contact information for a family
member or guardian
 REMEMBER


DON’T—

•Threaten or harass parents or
students, violate their privacy, or
jeopardize their housing

•Pose barriers to enrollment
School Districts
must not—


Require parents of homeless
students to submit proof of
residency.
Which is false?

A homeless student:

a) May be enrolled immediately in
   school without certification of a
   school-entry examination or
   immunization.

b) Will be removed from school if after
   30 school days, he/she does not
   have a school-entry exam or
   immunization.
Which is false?

b) Will be removed from school if after 30 school days,
   he/she does not have a school-entry exam or
   immunization.

The McKinney-Vento Act requires school districts to
remove barriers to enrollment and retention.

Schools are required to assist homeless students and
their families in obtaining necessary records to enroll in
school. Schools must immediately assist the parents
(or unaccompanied youth) in obtaining necessary
immunization and health records.
WHAT IF?
If, after enrollment, it is determined that a
student is not homeless, but is permanently
housed. What happens then?

The LEA should follow the policies they have
in place to address other forms of fraud.
THE LOCAL LIAISON
EVERY LEA MUST

Designate an appropriate staff person as a
local homeless education liaison.

     The homeless liaison must work to
     ensure that homeless children and youth
     have equal access to the same free public
     education as is provided to other children
     and youth.
DUTIES OF THE LOCAL LIAISON
Must collaborate and coordinate with—
   the State Coordinators for Homeless Education
   community personnel
   other school personnel

•Inform parents, guardians, or youth of education
and parent involvement opportunities.

•Inform parents, guardians, or youth of transportation
services, including the school of origin.

•Resolve disputes.

•Post public notice of educational rights.
DUTIES OF THE LOCAL LIAISON
CONTINUED…

•Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations
are identified.

•Ensure that homeless students enroll in and have full
and equal opportunity to succeed in school.

•Link students with educational services, including
preschool and health services.

•Provide awareness activities for school staff.

•Provide outreach materials and posters where there is a
frequent influx of low-income families and youth in
high-risk situations.
DUTIES OF THE LOCAL LIAISON
CONTINUED…

•Educate school staff about ―warning signs‖ that may
indicate an enrolled child or youth may be experiencing
homelessness.

•Make special efforts to identify preschool children,
including asking about the siblings of school-age
children.

•Develop relationships with truancy officials and/or other
attendance officers

•Use enrollment and withdrawal forms to inquire about
living situations
DO’S AND DON’TS FOR
LOCAL LIAISON
•Do ensure there is immediate enrollment

•Don’t create barriers to enrollment including those
posed by a:

         •lack of school records
         •proof of guardianship
         •birth certificates
         •immunization or other health records
         •proof of residence
INTERAGENCY
COLLABORATION

Has been described as…
      Rarer than we think,
      Harder than we think,
      And more promising than we think!
SCHOOL SELECTION
SCHOOL SELECTION

   SCHOOL OF ORIGIN OR SCHOOL OF RESIDENCE

The school of origin is the school that the child or
youth attended when permanently housed or the
school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.


                The school of residence is the
                 current physical dwelling where
                 the homeless child or youth is
                 sleeping.
SCHOOL SELECTION continued…

•Students can continue attending 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 the school of origin or the
school requested by the parent or
guardian the LEA must provide the
parent or guardian with a written explanation of its
decision and the right to appeal.
TRANSPORTATION…
WHICH FUNDS BELOW MAY BE USED
TO TRANSPORT HOMELESS STUDENTS
TO AND FROM THE SCHOOL OF
ORIGIN?

a.   Title I, Part A funds
b.   Title V, Part A funds
c.   Title X, Part C funds
d.   District transportation funds
WHICH FUNDS BELOW MAY BE USED
TO TRANSPORT HOMELESS STUDENTS
TO AND FROM THE SCHOOL OF
ORIGIN?

District transportation funds

In addition to providing transportation to the school
of origin, LEAs must provide students in homeless
situations with transportation services comparable to
those provided to other students.
TRANSPORTATION

•Homeless students must be provided with
transportation to and from their school of origin.

•For unaccompanied youth, transportation to and from
the school of origin must be provided at the local liaison’s
request.

•If the student’s temporary
residence and the school of
origin are in the same LEA,
that LEA must provide
transportation.
TRANSPORTATION CONTINUED…
•However, if the student is living outside the school of
origin’s LEA, the LEA where the student is living and
the school of origin’s LEA must determine how to
divide the cost of providing transportation .

•Transportation must also be provided for homeless
students when comparable services are provided to
other students.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
•What is the school of best interest?

•How old is the student? Is a three hour bus
ride too long?

•Is the student old enough and
responsible enough to take public
transportation?
In what circumstance would
transportation be provided to
preschool homeless children?

a. All homeless children attending preschool.


b. Homeless children attending public preschool if
   the LEA provides comparable transportation for
   non-homeless preschool children.

c. No circumstance. McKinney-Vento does not apply to
   homeless pre-school children.
THE ANSWER IS…


Homeless children attending public preschool if
the LEA provides comparable transportation for
non-homeless preschool children.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Which is correct?
a) A homeless student who enrolls in a new school
   because he was not informed of his right to remain
   in the school of origin, has the right to go back to the
   school of origin.

b) Once a homeless student enrolls in a new school, that
   school becomes his new school of origin and he cannot
   return to the previous school, regardless of whether
   he was not informed of his/her rights.
Which is correct?


A homeless student who enrolls
in a new school because he/she was
not informed of their right to
remain in the school of origin, has
the right to go back to the school of
origin.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION

•Every school district in Missouri
must establish dispute resolution
procedures.

•When a dispute over enrollment
arises, the student must be admitted
immediately to the school of choice
while the dispute is being resolved.

•Liaisons must ensure unaccompanied
youth are enrolled immediately while
the dispute is being resolved.
RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
continued…


•If a dispute arises, refer the child, youth, parent, or
guardian to the liaison to carry out the dispute resolution
process as expeditiously as possible.

•Documentation should be kept for all local liaison
interventions with parents—not just formal disputes
(NCLB).
DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS


True or False?


The LEA does not have to provide transportation
to the selected school for the duration of the dispute
resolution process.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS

False

While the dispute resolution process is underway, the
student can attend and receive transportation to
the school of choice until the dispute resolution process
is completed.
SEGREGATION
While waiting on school records
or assessments, LEAs
a) May keep homeless students in ―transitional
   classrooms‖ in shelters, to receive educational services
   while they are being assessed or while they wait for
   school records.

b) Must enroll homeless students immediately.
While waiting on school records
or assessments, LEAs

Must enroll homeless students immediately.

Placing homeless students in ―transitional classrooms‖ is
illegal—

      Even if those classrooms are in homeless shelters.
SEGREGATION

School District cannot segregate homeless students


   •they cannot have separate programs within
    the school or

   •have separate settings within the school
IF A HOMELESS STUDENT RESIDES IN
A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER,
THE SCHOOL:


a) Should take all necessary steps to protect children
   who are victims of domestic violence and keep the
   students in the regular school program.

a) May separate homeless students from the regular
   school program for their protection.
IF A HOMELESS STUDENT RESIDES IN
A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER,
THE SCHOOL:

Should take all necessary steps to protect children
who are victims of domestic violence and keep the
students in the regular school program.
School Districts must adopt policies
and practices to ensure students are
not segregated or stigmatized on the
basis of their status as homeless.
HOMELESS AND TITLE I
TITLE I AND
MCKINNEY-VENTO

•A child or youth who is homeless and is
attending any school in the district is
automatically eligible for Title I. A services.
•LEAs must reserve (or set aside) funds.

•In Missouri, Title I. funds may not be used to
transport homeless children and youth.
TITLE I SET ASIDE & HOMELESS
Method #1—
Reserve the set aside amount on what you would be eligible
for if you were applying for a McKinney-Vento subgrant.

Method #2—
Reserve the set aside amount based on a percentage.

Method #3—
Reserve the set aside amount based on your homeless
student count and Title I, Part A per-pupil allocation.

Method #4—
Reserve the set aside amount based on homeless
student’s needs.
          TRUE OR FALSE?

A homeless student who becomes permanently
housed during a school year continues to remain
eligible for Title I. Part A services for the remainder
of that school year.
True.

Homeless students who become permanently
housed during the school year remain eligible for
Title I. Part A services until the end of the school year.
USE OF TITLE I. FUNDS

•Outreach services
•Basic needs
•Counseling services
•Supplemental instruction
•Parental involvement programs
•Before/after-school, and/or summer programs
•Research-based programs
•Data collection
HOMELESS CENSUS
HOMELESS CENSUS
The information collected includes:
         •Name of homeless student
         •Grade level
         •Primary night time residence

Night time Residence Definition
         •Not Homeless (NH)
         •Shelters (SH)
         •Unsheltered (US)
         •Doubled Up (DU)
         •Hotel/Motel (HM)
SCHOOL LUNCH
SCHOOL LUNCHES
Homeless children and youth automatically
qualify for the Free and Reduced lunch
program.

•They do not have to have a parent/guardian
signature.
EARLY CHILDHOOD
EARLY CHILDHOOD
(HEAD START)

Head Start reauthorization includes a
definition of homelessness that matches
the definition of homelessness in the
education subtitle of the McKinney-
Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which
governs public schools.
HEAD START AND HOMELESS

•Homeless children are categorically eligible for Head
Start [42 U.S.C. 9840(a)(1)(B)].

•Implies that verification of homeless living situation
suffices.

•Under McKinney-Vento,
determinations of eligibility
are case-by-case,
individualized.
TO DO LIST FOR THE
2009-2010 SCHOOL YEAR…
TO DO LIST

Conduct ongoing awareness activities in the
school district.

Provide annual awareness and sensitivity
training to all school staff, including
administrators, counselors, social workers,
teachers, secretaries, registrars, nurses, bus
drivers, security staff, attendance officers, and
federal programs staff.
REVIEW, REVISE, AND DEVELOP

•Enrollment Identification
•Needs Assessment
•Placement
•Services
•Records Transfer
•Homeless Coordinator
•Resolution of Grievances
      THANK YOU!

I AM A RESOURCE FOR YOU.
  PLEASE CONTACT ME AT
     573-522-8763 OR
        BY E-MAIL
donna.cash@dese.mo.gov
QUESTIONS?

				
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