A New Year, A New Congress: 2019 Legislative Priorities

The 116th Congress convened last week, kicking off a two-year legislative session. A new Congress means new members and new committee assignments -- and, in the case of the U.S. House of Representatives, a new majority. In addition to addressing the urgent need to...

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Real Families, Real Solutions: How Homeless Service Providers Can Meet the Needs of Young Children and Their Families

By Carol Klocek, CEO, Center for Transforming Lives, Ft. Worth, TX. “There is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all solution to family homelessness…Real solutions are as complex as the families who experience homelessness. But if we truly want to end family homelessness in our communities, we must take the time to find and create real solutions for real families.”    

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We have a student who has been verified as an unaccompanied youth. She is over 18 and has requested that her parent does not have access to her academic record. We do not have a procedure in place for this in our district. Is there something in the law that helps us define our next steps?

Answer: Under FERPA, all rights to inspect education records and consent for their disclosure pass to the student when the student turns 18. This means an 18-year old student controls access to her education records. There are several exceptions in FERPA that allow...

Due to mental health issues, a district has placed a student in a re-engagement program. The district contracts with this private program. The student remains enrolled in the district, but is attending this non-public program. She cannot attend the program without transportation. Is transportation required? And who pays for the transportation– the district, or the private program?

Answer: There are two separate issues here. One is whether the student should be transported to school. The answer to that is yes. The district has placed the student in this program, and transportation is a barrier to her enrollment and retention in the program....

A single parent has volunteered for a 6 week active duty assignment with the military. The child will be staying with friends in a different school district. Does this child become eligible for McKinney-Vento services?

Answer: No, this situation does not appear to meet the definition of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act. The Act covers children and youth who are “sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.” A voluntary...

I am presenting at a conference, and I would like a short video clip highlighting the importance of graduation and overcoming homelessness in order to obtain an education. Is there a video that you can recommend?

Answer: Here are three clips you could consider using: https://vimeo.com/188923159 - this video features young people who experienced homelessness. https://vimeo.com/280746209 - we used this as part of our application to present at SXSW EDU....

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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