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. On the other hand, the school district has a legal obligation to identify students experiencing homelessness. So my question would be, is this district engaging in adequate identification activities? Some considerations: -Prior to the family entering shelter, had they been given a meaningful opportunity to identify as homeless? For example, is there information on the district website? Are there posters in school? Is information sent home to parents? -If they were homeless when they enrolled, does enrollment documentation include a questionnaire to identify homeless students? -It sounds like this is a school of origin situation, so the parent must have changed attendance areas or school districts. She may have been afraid to reveal her situation, thinking that her children would be forced to change schools. If the district does not adequately share MV information, it actually could be encouraging families NOT to reveal their homelessness. If the district is not engaging in adequate identification practices, then I think it is responsible for going back and reimbursing the parent for transportation from the beginning. The parent should not be held responsible for the district’s inadequate implementation of McKinney-Vento. However, if the district is doing lots of outreach, awareness, and other identification activities, and anyone would think the parent should have known about McKinney-Vento and the transportation rights, then I could see not going back to hold the district responsible since day one. I would say though, that is a tough argument— because if the parent had information about MV and the transportation rights, why wouldn’t she have stepped up and asked for help from the beginning?
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.
Aug 31, 2018 | Q and A