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Making the Case #2: Extra-Curricular Activities

SchoolHouse Connection’s “Making the Case” series shares real students’ situations and walks through making the legal case for providing the support the student needs. This issue focuses on participation in extra-curricular activities.

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GUEST PERSPECTIVE


Doing What We Can—As Schools and Individuals

By Marta Martinez, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison, Northside ISD, Texas. “As the enrollment of students identified as being impacted by Hurricane Harvey increased, so did my concerns about how their needs would be met as they enrolled at campuses throughout our large district.”

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Q & A FROM OUR INBOXES

Our Department of Human Services refuses to allow the unaccompanied students to access SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or Food Stamps) without the “host” family giving their financial information. What is the law on that?

Answer: Unaccompanied youth do not need to provide host family information on SNAP applications unless they are purchasing and preparing food together with the host family, or if they are under “parental control” of the host family. It’s a case-by-case decision, but...
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A shelter has access to transportation for children residing there. The school district is wondering if they can use Title I funds to reimburse the shelter for the cost of transportation. ESSA allows us to use Title-I funds to pay for the excess cost of transportation, but does it make a difference if the funds are paying a shelter?

Answer: There is no problem with this, as long as the transportation provided by the shelter is cost-effective. McKinney-Vento allows the LEA to provide or arrange transportation, thereby giving the LEA some discretion to choose the method of transportation, as long...
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Can we use Title I set-aside funds to transport children from our domestic violence shelter to our preschool program? We do not typically provide transportation to preschool, but these children will not attend if we cannot provide transportation.

Answer: Absolutely. Providing transportation eliminates a barrier to attendance in preschool for these children. The state is required to have procedures that "ensure that— (i) homeless children have access to public preschool programs, administered by the State...
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Are non-public schools, i.e. charter and parochial schools, required to identify, enroll and report students experiencing homelessness?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act applies to public schools, including public charter schools. It does not apply to private or parochial schools, so the homelessness requirements on identification, enrollment, etc. do not apply. However, there is a Title IA reservation...
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Can a 19-year old McKinney-Vento student participate in sports? Our athletic association has an age limit for participation.

Answer: While McKinney-Vento requires immediate enrollment (including full participation), there is no blanket exemption from all of the athletic association requirements for homeless students. The McKinney-Vento Act requires that states have in place procedures to...
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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 2014-15 school year, public schools identified more than 1.2 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 at least a Bachelor’s degree. A college degree is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Partnerships

Robust community partnerships, including housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and other services, provide essential supports for children and youth to grow and thrive.

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