Answer: The particular language in this enrollment affidavit creates a barrier to the immediate enrollment of McKinney-Vento students. The McKinney-Vento Act requires immediate enrollment and revision of any policies that create a barrier to enrollment. 42 USC 11432(g)(1)(I). Families experiencing homelessness often have no way to know where they will reside from one night to the next. They often cannot express an intent to remain in a particular school district, and such an intent is not a requirement for immediate enrollment. The school district must provide immediate enrollment “in any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.” 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(A)(ii). This refers to where the child or youth “is actually living” at the time of enrollment. Where the family may live in the future or where they might intend to settle does not affect their right to immediate enrollment. In addition, the affidavit appears to require the signature of a parent or legal guardian. That creates a barrier to the immediate enrollment of unaccompanied homeless youth. The McKinney-Vento Act requires the removal of barriers related to guardianship issues. 42 USC 11432(g)(1)(H)(iv). The school cannot require the signature of a parent or legal guardian to enroll an unaccompanied youth. Youth can enroll themselves, or an administrator at the school can sign-off on enrollment.
A district is requiring families experiencing homelessness to sign an enrollment affidavit stating the family will remain in the school district. Enrollment is depending on this affidavit being completed and signed by a parent. I know this is a violation of McKinney-Vento, but can you point me to the exact language and citations?
May 7, 2018 | Q and A