State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project: Request for Proposals

Request for proposal. Education Leads Home is excited to announce the State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project to support the planning and implementation of state-specific strategies that leverage best practices to support access to and success in early care and education for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

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It Was a Revival of Some Sort

By Ed Vere. Ed graduated with Highest Honors from a Blue Ribbon High School District in Illinois. He is a third-year Urban Studies student at Wheaton College. “This past June, my SchoolHouse Connection peers and I came from all over the U.S. to Washington, D.C. to speak truth — our truths — to power and to each other… Our time together was a revival of some sort … of resiliency, of being nurtured, and of past pain and trauma.”

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I have been assisting a student with financial aid to start college. At the end of July, we received notice from the college that the student would not be able to start school for the fall semester because she needed a “verification of non-filing” from the IRS. We didn’t know this was required. We have requested the form, but how can I ensure the student can start classes in the fall?

Answer: There is no federally-imposed deadline for this IRS form. It seems to be a school-imposed deadline, meaning the school could waive it. It’s unclear why the school didn’t ask for this documentation sooner, knowing the student's circumstances. The best approach...

We have a graduating senior, identified as an unaccompanied youth during his senior year, who has outstanding fees for books, etc. They were incurred prior to his homelessness. These fees may prevent him from “walking” at graduation. Can we consider these fees a “barrier” to graduation and advocate for them to be waived?

Answer: Yes, the McKinney-Vento Act would cover this situation. Specifically, McKinney-Vento requires SEAs and LEAs to develop, review, and revise policies to remove barriers to the identification, enrollment, and retention of homeless students in school, including...

Can enrollment staff identify and verify McKinney-Vento eligibility? Or can only Liaisons do that?

Answer: Enrollment staff certainly can identify and verify McKinney-Vento eligibility, as long as the liaison has the opportunity to provide them with adequate training to do so. The law is pretty clear about this, requiring liaisons to ensure that "homeless children...

When is the official start date of McKinney-Vento eligibility for homeless children and youth? July 1? The first day at each individual school? If a school starts on August 23, what happens to students who are verified as homeless on 7/1, but become permanently housed 8/22? Will they be McKinney-Vento eligible for the 2018-19 school year?

Answer: Technically speaking, this depends on the date in your state when the school year officially starts and ends. Most states define the academic year to go from roughly August 1 to July 31, to cover “extended school year” (i.e. summer school) services. That...

Are students who are “unaccompanied” but not McKinney-Vento required to be tracked and/or served by McKinney-Vento? For example, a student who has been raised by a grandmother in adequate housing over many years.

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act only covers children and youth who meet the definition of homelessness. If a youth is unaccompanied, but not homeless, there is no federal requirement to provide support. However, I do think it can be a best practice to check in on their...

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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