2017 Legislative Wrap Up and Look Ahead to 2018

The first session of the 115th Congress has come to a close. Many bills on child, youth, and family homelessness were introduced in 2017, and will continue to make their way through the legislative process next year. While issues like tax, immigration, entitlement...

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Acts of Kindness, All Year Round

By Cynthia A. Núñez  MSW, McKinney-Vento Liaison, Lewiston, ID. “One night last fall, I lay awake, replaying a conversation I had had with a fellow social worker regarding homelessness in our community. I recalled his words about “the overall lack of concern for a population that many choose to ignore” and I contemplated what could I do to make a difference.” 

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For unaccompanied youth, with whom should the school work on issues of school enrollment, disputes, etc.: the youth, or parents? We have a situation where the youth wants to enroll in school near where he is staying, but the parents do not want him enrolled there, and in fact are arguing that he is not homeless.

Answer: The school should work with the unaccompanied youth, but may also provide services or referrals to the parent. ESSA made this clear by amending the language around school placement and enrollment of unaccompanied youth. The new language is “give priority to”...

Can a district use Title IA funds to reimburse a shelter for the cost of transportation for McKinney-Vento students?

Answer: Yes, that should be allowable, 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...

A school is pursuing “consequences” for a student who is tardy almost daily. The parent is refusing to speak with the attendance/truancy team, and they are all at odds with each other. How does McKinney-Vento apply?

Answer: The school is within its rights to put interventions in place to improve attendance and tardiness. You are right that the school cannot punish tardiness due to homelessness. But, if the school takes steps like providing an alarm clock, putting something...

We know that McKinney-Vento students can enroll in 1) school of origin, or 2) the school serving the area where the student is currently sleeping. However, I have been told by the state McKinney-Vento Coordinator that the school the student attended when last stably housed also is an option. Is this correct?

Answer: Your state MV representative is exactly right. School of origin is defined in the McKinney-Vento Act as “the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including a preschool.” This...

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.

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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