Five Bills to the Finish Line

Thanks to tenacious state and local advocates, five of SchoolHouse Connection’s state bills on youth homelessness have become law in three states. Learn about the new laws.

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ZERO TO THREE Journal on Early Childhood Homelessness

SchoolHouse Connection’s own Dr. Grace Whitney, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, is guest editor of the ZERO TO THREE Journal’s March issue, which includes a sampling of policies, practices, challenges, and opportunities at the intersection of homelessness and infant-toddler services. The authors cover topics ranging from early care and early childhood programs to parenting supports, housing, pediatrics, and young families.

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Remembering Mary Jean LeTendre

I recall vividly the day that Mary Jean called me, over twenty years ago, to ask if the National Coalition for the Homeless would set up a scholarship fund in memory of her husband. At the time, I was very intimidated by Mary Jean – she was a giant in our world of homeless education. She made homeless children and youth a priority at the federal level, long before legislation mandated it.

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What is the legal basis to say that a district must continue providing school of origin transportation to a McKinney-Vento student who has been suspended from the bus?

Answer: Several provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act apply here, including the requirement that students remain in their school of origin if in their best interest (42 USC §11432(g)(3)(A)-(B)), and that schools provide transportation to and from the school of origin...

We have a 10th grade student staying in domestic violence shelter. The parent will not divulge the address of the shelter and is requesting her child be picked up and dropped off at a donut shop. How are these types of situations usually handled? Our statewide transportation system will not pick up students at storefronts, and also the LEA needs a contact address.

Answer: In situations like this, schools cannot require the address of the shelter.  Many or most domestic violence shelters do not allow residents to share the address.  That is a critical element of safety for all the families staying there. If the school were to...

I have a student who was identified under McKinney-Vento this school year, and now recently has been placed in foster care. Should we continue to serve the student under McKinney-Vento, or under the Title I foster care provisions? (If under McKinney-Vento, the districts split the cost of transportation; however, under foster care, our child welfare agency reimburses the cost of transportation.)

Answer: If a student is identified as experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act this school year, and later in the year is taken into child welfare custody and put in foster care, the district can continue serving the student under McKinney-Vento for the...

What can we do for a high school senior who came from out of state, with all the credits she needs to graduate, but who is not able to take our state-required graduation test in time to receive the results before graduation?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act requires the school district and state to remove barriers to retention in school.  42 USC §11432(g)(1)(I). It certainly is a barrier to retention if a student who has recently moved from out of state, and who has all the credits needed...

Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2016-17 school year, public schools identified more than 1.3 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require education beyond high school. Post-secondary attainment is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Unaccompanied Youth

Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year.

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