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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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...

Our transfer department informed us that our district is not taking out of district transfers, including McKinney-Vento students. We have a family who finished out the school year in our district, is now in transitional living in a different school district, and want to remain in our district for this upcoming school year. We are being told that is not allowed.

Answer: Your transfer department is incorrect. They need to understand that for a McKinney-Vento student, this should not be viewed as an inter-district transfer. For McKinney-Vento students, this is a school of origin issue. The family remains homeless (in a...

We will be audited this year by the State Department and one of the criteria we need to submit evidence for is: “Written procedures that ensure confidentiality of homeless children and youth’s living situation and their educational records.” Everyone is FERPA trained, but do we need procedures additionally?

Answer: Federal law does not require a written procedure on confidentiality for McKinney-Vento students. However, if your state department has listed that on their monitoring tool, the state is requiring it. Sometimes states will require written procedures or other...

Does “best interest” of a student only refer to a decision between school of origin and attendance area school? What if a student refuses those options and wants a “fresh start” at a different school?

Answer: Yes, the question of ‘best interest’ only pertains to school selection decisions when there is a choice of schools – school of origin vs. school of "residence." However, there may be other ways to a student to get a residency waiver or choice into another...

What is an LEA’s obligation to reimburse a parent for gas who has been transporting her two homeless children for essentially the entire school year, but only disclosed her homelessness in early May? They moved into a shelter in May and learned about McKinney-Vento at that time.

Answer: The parent probably should be reimbursed for the entire time she has been homeless. On one hand, the school district can’t be held responsible for information it did not have, and it can be difficult to go back in time and retroactively identify homelessness....

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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