Ed Dept releases guidance on homeless students

Posted by on May 2, 2003

[from Public Education Network Weekly Newsblast]

Studies show that changing schools significantly impedes a student’s academic and social growth. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires school districts to keep students in their school of origin, if at all possible, unless doing so is contrary to the wishes of the parents or guardians. The program was reauthorized under the No Child Left Behind Act. It addresses the problems that homeless children face in school, such as low enrollment, poor attendance and lack of academic success. Changes described under the guidance include: (1) School districts or schools cannot segregate homeless children in a separate school program within a school, based on homelessness alone; (2) Schools must immediately enroll homeless students even if the students are unable to produce the records normally required by non-homeless students for enrollment; (3) States and their school districts must ensure that homeless children are provided transportation — at the request of parents or guardians — to and from the school they attended prior to becoming homeless; and (4) School districts must designate a local liaison for homeless children and youths.


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