Ruth Robertson, Coordinator
337-217-4170 Ext: 2408 (Phone) 337-217-4173 (Fax) email@example.com
This program helps provide educational stability – stability that is essential for academic success – for children and youth whose lives have been disrupted by the loss of housing.
The McKinney – Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth. Homeless children and youth should have access to the educational and other services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. States and districts are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youth.
§341. Homeless Children and Youth
A. Each LEA shall establish a written policy to provide for the placement in school and for the education of any child temporarily residing within the jurisdiction of the board who has no permanent address, who has been abandoned by his parents, or who is in foster care pursuant to placement through the Department of Social Services. However, this does not require the enrollment of any child not permitted by another school system to attend school, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of disciplinary action(s).
B. The term homeless child and youth mean the following:
- Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
C. According to a child or youth's best interest, each district must either continue the child/youth's education in the school of origin, or enroll the child in school in any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area where the child/youth is actually living are eligible to attend.
1. School of origin is defined as the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.
2. In determining best interest, the district must, to the extent feasible, keep children/youth in the school of origin unless it is against the wishes of the parent/guardian.
3. A homeless child or youth's right to attend his/her school of origin extends for the duration of homelessness.
4. If a child or youth becomes permanently housed during the academic year, he or she is entitled to stay in the school of origin for the remainder of the academic year.
5. Children and youth who become homeless in between academic years are entitled to attend their school of origin for the following academic year.
6. If the district sends the child/youth to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian, the district must provide written explanation to the parent or guardian, including the right to appeal under the enrollment disputes provision.
D. In the case of an unaccompanied youth (i.e., a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian), the district's homeless liaison must assist in placement/enrollment decisions, consider the youth's wishes, and provide notice to the youth of the right to appeal under the enrollment disputes provisions. The choice regarding placement must be made regardless of whether the child or youth resides with the homeless parent or has been temporarily placed elsewhere.
E. The school selected shall immediately enroll the child/youth in school, even if the child or youth lacks records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency or other documentation.
1. The terms enroll and enrollment are defined to include attending classes and participating fully in school activities. The enrolling school must immediately contact the last school attended to obtain relevant academic and other records.
2. If a child or youth lacks immunizations or immunization or medical records, the enrolling school must refer the parent/guardian to the liaison, who shall help obtain necessary immunizations or immunization or medical records.
3. Districts may require parents or guardians to submit contact information.
F. If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment, the child/youth must be immediately admitted to the school in which he/she is seeking enrollment, pending resolution of the dispute (five days).
1. The parent or guardian must be provided with a written explanation of the school's decision on the dispute, including the right to appeal.
2. The parent/guardian/youth must be referred to the homeless liaison, who will carry out the state's grievance procedure as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute.
3. 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.
G. Each LEA shall keep and have immediately available any records ordinarily kept by the school, including immunization records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records, and evaluations for special services or programs, of each homeless child or youth.
H. Each LEA shall provide services comparable to services offered to other students in the school selected, including transportation services, educational services for which the child or youth meets the eligibility criteria (Title I, special education, limited English proficiency), programs in career and technical education, programs for the gifted and talented, and school nutrition programs.
1. School districts are required to adopt policies and practices to ensure that transportation is provided, at the request of the parent or guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison), to and from the school of origin.
2. If the homeless child or youth continues to live in the area served by the LEA in which the school of origin is located, that LEA must provide or arrange for the child's or youth's transportation to or from the school of origin.
3. If the homeless child or youth continues his or her education in the school of origin but begins living in an area served by another LEA, the LEA of origin and the LEA in which the homeless child or youth is living must agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child with the transportation to and from the school of origin. If the LEAs cannot agree upon such a method, the responsibility and costs must be shared equally.
I. Each LEA shall designate an appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other federal programs, to serve as a homeless advocate to coordinate services and ensure that there are no barriers to the enrollment, transportation, attendance, and success in school for homeless children and youth. Additionally, the homeless advocate will promptly solve disputes regarding educational placement.
J. Each LEA shall ensure the prompt resolution (within five school days) of disputes regarding the educational placement of homeless children and youth following the procedures in the Louisiana State Plan for Educating Homeless Children and Youth.
K. Each LEA that receives a homeless direct grant award from the SEA Office of Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) must coordinate the services provided and designate a homelessness liaison to carry out certain mandates.
L. Each LEA shall review and revise any policies that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless children and youth. Further, LEAs must adopt policies and practices to ensure that homeless children and youth are not isolated or stigmatized.
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 17:238; 20 USCS 6311, 6312, 6313, and 6315.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Promulgated by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, LR 31:1262 (June 2005).
"If you think your family may qualify for McKinney-Vento, please see your child's school counselor or contact the district Laision, Ruth Robertson.