First State Bills for 2019 Introduced, with More on the Way

Although state legislatures will not begin considering new legislation until early next year, SchoolHouse Connection and our state policy partners have been working feverishly for months to prepare. Last week, our first bill was introduced: a higher education bill in the Texas state legislature. Proposals in other states will tackle higher education, vital documents, minor consent, credit accrual, child care, employment, and transportation.

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Sesame Street Launches National Initiative on Family Homelessness

Sesame Street Workshop launched a national initiative on family homelessness to bring awareness and support to young children and their parents who are homeless, and those who serve them, including early childhood programs, schools, and service providers. Lily, a sweet and resilient 7-year-old muppet whose family experienced homelessness, is featured throughout the new resources, which include a storybook, videos, activities, and materials for providers.

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“The Red Door”

By Barbara Anita Baldwin, Senior Coordinator of Site Management, Early Learning Division, ABCD Inc., Bridgeport, CT. “One day, he looked out the window watching the construction outside. I asked him what he was thinking. He stated that he was tired of the doors always changing color. I asked him, “What color were the doors?”  He told me red, brown, and blue.  He stated he just wanted to get back to his door. The red door.”

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Can a district make school of origin transportation contingent upon a family interview at the Homeless Office? The school is trying to deny school of origin transportation because of prior absences.

Answer: No, transportation cannot be contingent on a family going to the homeless office. If the student has been missing excessive amounts of school, the school is within its rights to re-evaluate whether it is in the student’s best interest to remain in the school...

I’m looking for assistance in explaining the legal ramifications if something should happen to a McKinney-Vento student who is given an out-of-school suspension. It is a concern as these students don’t have a place to stay while suspended, and several schools do not have a specific room for internal suspension.

Answer: If a school is aware that a McKinney-Vento student does not have a safe place to be during the day, and something happens to the student while suspended, the district could be exposed to liability. This is particularly true considering that the McKinney-Vento...

I am looking for documents stating that an unaccompanied youth, over 18 or not, can sign their own documents.

Answer: NCHE’s unaccompanied youth issue brief is probably your best bet. It includes the legal citations about the right to immediate enrollment, without proof of guardianship, and of course “enrollment” means “attending classes and participating fully in school...

Should military personnel whose homes have been destroyed in a hurricane, and who are staying in temporary housing like motels, be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act? They are receiving government money for housing.

Answer: Yes, military families who lost their homes in a hurricane are considering homeless under McKinney-Vento, just like a non-military family who lost their home. The families are staying in a motel due to the lack of an adequate alternative. 42 U.S.C. §...

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 2015-16 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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