As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), a district serving homeless children shall, according to the child's best interest:
Continue the child's education in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness:
If the child's family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; and
For the remainder of the academic year, if the child becomes permanently housed during an academic year; or
Enroll the child in any school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child is actually living are eligible to attend.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(A) [For definition of "homeless children," see FD]
"Unaccompanied youth" includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 42 U.S.C. 11434A
"Enroll" and "enrollment" include attending classes and participating fully in school activities.
"School of Origin"
"School of origin" means the school that the child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child was last enrolled, including a preschool.
When the child completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, the term "school of origin" shall include the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(I)
In determining the best interest of a homeless child, a district shall:
Presume that keeping the child in the school of origin is in the child's best interest, except when doing so is contrary to the request of the child's parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth;
Consider student-centered factors related to the child's best interest, including factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and safety of homeless children, giving priority to the request of the child's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth;
If, after conducting the best interest determination based on consideration of the presumption in item 1 above and the student-centered factors in item 2 above, the district determines that it is not in the child's best interest to attend the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth, provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner and form understandable to such parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, including information regarding the right to appeal as set forth at ENROLLMENT DISPUTES below; and
In the case of an unaccompanied youth, ensure that the homeless liaison [see FFC] assists in placement and enrollment decisions under these provisions, gives priority to the views of such unaccompanied youth, and provides the notice to such youth of the right to appeal as set forth at ENROLLMENT DISPUTES below.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(B)
A district may require the parent or guardian of a homeless child to submit contact information. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(H)
The school selected in accordance with these provisions shall immediately enroll a homeless child, even if the child:
Is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic record, records of immunization and other required health records, proof of residency, or other document; or
Has missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(C)
If a dispute arises over eligibility, or school selection or enrollment in a school:
The child shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals;
The parent or guardian of the child or an unaccompanied youth shall be provided with a written explanation of any decisions related to school selection or enrollment made by the district, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth to appeal such decisions.
The parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth shall be referred to the homeless liaison [see FFC], who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute; and
In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in the school in which the youth seeks enrollment pending resolution of such dispute.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(E) [See FNG]
As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Act, TEA shall submit to the U.S. Secretary of Education a plan that includes assurances that a district will adopt policies and practices to ensure that homeless children are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)(i)
The choice regarding placement shall be made regardless of whether the child lives with the homeless parents or has been temporarily placed elsewhere. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(F)
The enrolling school shall immediately contact the school last attended by the child to obtain relevant academic and other records. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(C)(ii)
If the child needs to obtain immunizations or other required health records, the enrolling school shall immediately refer the child's parent or guardian or an unaccompanied youth to the district homeless liaison [see FFC] who shall assist in obtaining necessary immunizations or screenings, or immunization or other required health records. [See also FFAB] 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(C)(iii)
Any record ordinarily kept by a school, including immunization or other required health records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records, and evaluation for special services or programs, regarding each homeless child shall be maintained so that the records involved are available, in a timely fashion, when a child enters a new school or district, and in a manner consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g) [see FL]. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(D)
Information about a homeless child's living situation shall be treated as a student education record, and shall not be deemed to be directory information under FERPA. [See FL] 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(G)
The district shall provide a homeless child with services that are comparable to services offered to other students in the school in which the child is enrolled, including:
Educational services for which the child meets the eligibility criteria;
Programs in career and technical education;
Programs for gifted and talented students; and
School nutrition programs.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(4)
A district serving homeless children shall coordinate:
The provision of services with local social services agencies and other agencies or entities providing services to homeless children and their families; and
Transportation, transfer of school records, and other interdistrict activities with other local educational agencies.
If applicable, a district shall coordinate with state and local housing agencies responsible for developing the comprehensive housing affordability strategy described in the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 12705), to minimize educational disruption for children who become homeless.
The coordination shall be designed to:
Ensure that homeless children are promptly identified and have access to, and are in reasonable proximity to, available education and related support services; and
Raise the awareness of school personnel and service providers of the effects of short-term stays in a shelter and other challenges associated with homelessness.
Homeless Children with Disabilities
For children who are to be assisted both under the McKinney-Vento Act and under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) or section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), a district shall coordinate provision of services under the McKinney-Vento Act with the provision of programs for children with disabilities served by that district and other involved local educational agencies. [See EHBA series]
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(5)
Barriers to Enrollment
A district shall review and revise any policies that may act as barriers to the identification or enrollment of homeless children. A district shall give consideration to issues concerning transportation, immunization, residency, birth certificates, school records and other documentation, and guardianship. A district shall give special attention to ensuring the identification, enrollment, and attendance of homeless children who are not currently attending school. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(7)
Website Information on Local Programs
Each campus within a district with 3,000 or more students and located in a county with a population of at least 50,000 that maintains an Internet website shall post on the campus website information regarding local programs and services, including charitable programs and services, available to assist homeless students.
A campus shall make a good faith effort to compile information and shall post the information compiled in a format and style that is easily understandable by students or parents, as appropriate based on the grade levels the campus offers.
A representative of a local program or service available to assist homeless students may request to have information concerning the program or service posted on a campus website. A campus may determine the information that is posted on its website and is not required to post information as requested by the representative.
The district is not liable for any harm to a student that results in connection with a local program or service referred to on the website of a campus.
Education Code 33.906
Other Related Policies:
AID — FEDERAL ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS
CNA — STUDENT TRANSPORTATION
EHBD — FEDERAL TITLE I PROGRAMS
FB — EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
FD — ADMISSIONS
FFAB — IMMUNIZATIONS
FFC — STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
FL — STUDENT RECORDS
FP — STUDENT FEES, FINES, AND CHARGES