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Title X Part C - McKinney-Vento
 Homeless Education

 RIGHTS OF CHILDREN |
 SAMPLE COMPLAINT POLICY | CONTACT


US Department of Education Definition of a Student Experiencing Homelessness

As defined by McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2002, Subtitle B of Title VII, Section 725. The term “homeless children and youths”
- means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and
- includes
- Children and youths 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 the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
- children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- migratory children (as such is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (1) through (3).




RIGHTS OF CHILDREN

You have certain rights or protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2001. You have the right to:
- Go to school, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there. You must be given access to the same public education provided to other students.
- Continue in the school you attended before you became homeless or the school you last attended, if that is your choice and is feasible. The school district’s local liaison for homeless education must assist you, if needed, and offer you the right to appeal a decision regarding your choice of school if it goes against your wishes.
- Receive transportation to the school you attended before you became homeless, or the school you last attended, if you request such transportation.
- Attend a school and participate in school programs with students who are not homeless. Students cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
- Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay school enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or other documents required for enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes in the school of your choice even while the school and you seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment.
- Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other students served in these programs.
- Receive transportation to school and to school programs.




EDUCATION LIAISONS DUTIES
The following items are the duties of McKinney-Vento Liaisons as found in the statutes and guidance.

Policies and Procedures
- Review local policies and procedures that may impact homeless children and youth, such as school enrollment and access to school programs. (LEA requirement, may be assumed by liaison).
- Revise local policies and procedures determined to be potential barriers for homeless children and youth (LEA requirement, may be assumed by liaison).
- Ensure that homeless students are identified by school personnel through coordination with other entities and agencies.

Enrollment and Access to Educational Services
- Ensure that homeless students enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the schools of the LEA.
- Ensure that homeless families, children, and youth receive educational services for which they are eligible, including Head Start, Even Start, and preschool programs administered by the LEA, and referrals to health, mental health, dental, and other appropriate services.
- Assist children and youth who do not have immunizations or medical records to obtain the necessary records or immunizations.
- Ensure that parents or guardians are informed of educational and related opportunities that are available to their children and are provided meaningful opportunities to participate in their children’s education.
- Assist with enrollment dispute resolution cases, and ensure they are mediated in accordance with the state’s enrollment dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible.

Outreach
- Ensure that the parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth, and any unaccompanied you, is fully informed of all transportation services, including to the school of origin, and that assistance to access transportation services is provided.
- Post educational rights of homeless children and youth in all schools.
- Post educational rights of homeless children and you in the community in places that homeless families and youth may receive services (e.g., shelters, public health offices, libraries, and soup kitchens).
- Inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates who work with homeless families of the duties of the liaison.
- Collaborate and coordinate with state coordinators, community service providers, and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youth.

Unaccompanied Youth
- Assist unaccompanied youth in placement and enrollment decisions, including considering the youth’s wishes in those decisions and providing notice to the youth of the right to appeal such decisions under the enrollment dispute provisions.
- Ensure that unaccompanied youth are immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of disputes that might arise over school enrollment and placement.

Suggested Activities
- Provide professional development for school district staff to build awareness of the educational needs of homeless students, legal responsibilities of the school, and local policies and procedures.
- Provide outreach to community service providers through presentations, announcements, and dissemination of relevant publications.
- Provide training for parents.
- Distribute materials, tutoring supplies, clothing, etc., to schools.
- Conduct a needs assessment.
- Conduct an evaluation of the local homeless education program.




SAMPLE COMPLAINT POLICY

A parent, student, employee, or district stakeholder who has a complaint regarding the use of federal NCLB funds and is unable to solve the issue, may address the complaint in writing to the district’s superintendent.

Disputes addressing the enrollment, transportation (including inter-district disputes), and other barriers to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness are also addressed under this procedure. Parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth may initiate the dispute resolution process directly at the school they choose, as well as at the district or district’s homeless liaison’s office. The parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth shall be provided with a written explanation of the school’s decision including the rights of the parent, guardian, or youth to appeal the decision. Students should be provided with all services for which they are eligible while disputes are resolved.

- The superintendent will investigate, within one week, the circumstances of the complaint and render a decision, within two weeks, after receipt of the complaint.
- The superintendent will notify the complainant of the decision in writing.
- The complainant will be allowed one week to react to the decision before it becomes final.
- The complainant will either accept or disagree with the decision and will provide such acknowledgment in writing, addressed to the district superintendent.
- If the issue is not resolved with the superintendent, the complaint will be forwarded to the district’s Board of Education for further review. The parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth shall be provided with a written explanation of the district’s decision including the rights of the parent, guardian, or youth to appeal the decision.
- Unresolved complaints may be forwarded by the stakeholder to the South Dakota Department of Education for review. (Consult SD Department of Education Complaint Procedure)




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