Title IX Consultation Services

Education for Homeless Children and Youth

 

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

 

Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program (EHCY) Homelessness among families, single parents with children, and children on their own is increasing dramatically nationwide. The growth in the size of Wisconsin's homeless population is the result of many factors, including insufficient appropriate housing, increasing inability of those with no or low income to purchase or rent the available housing, domestic violence, and lack of education. While the problem appears most dramatic in the cities, it can be just as devastating in rural areas and small towns where there are few, if any, services and often no emergency shelter facilities.

 

Homeless children and youth, whether they are with, or separated from their families, have a right to a free and appropriate public education. Recognizing the need for public policy ad attention to this problem, Congress enacted in 1987, and revised in 2002, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Part B (P.L. 100-77), as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Title X, Part C (P.L. 107-110).

The McKinney-Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, every state must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth. Homeless children and youth should have access to the educational and other services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging state student academic achievement standards to which all students are held.

 

In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. States and districts are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youth.

Every Child's Right

If a child is between the ages of 4 and 20 years, that child has the right to attend school even if she/he:

 

  • lives in a shelter or motel

  • has no permanent address

  • is abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care placement

  • has a previous address in another state or lives in a campground, a car, an abandoned building, a trailer home, transitional housing or other temporary shelter, or is doubled up with someone else

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above

 

Definition of Homelessness

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. The term includes children and youth who:

  • share the housing of other persons due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

  • are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping ground due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations

  • are living in emergency or transitional shelters

  • are abandoned in hospitals

  • are awaiting foster care placement

  • have a primary night-time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

  • are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings

  • migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above

 

Districts that receive Title I, Part A funds must comply with a mandatory set-aside to serve homeless children. NCLB Section 1113(c)(3)(A) says that a district "shall reserve funds for homeless children as are necessary" to provide services to homeless children and that these services must be comparable to the services the district provides to children in Title I, Part A schools.

 

Coordination with Title I

The district Title I Coordinator and Homeless Liaison must work collaboratively to meet the needs of identified homeless children and youth with the use of the Title I, Part A reservation for homeless.

 

Districts can use Title I, Part A reservation for Homeless Education to:

 

  • Provide activities other than direct instruction, provided that the activity promotes student achievement

  • Provide academic support as well as non-academic support to homeless students in non-Title I schools

  • Meet basic needs (clothing, supplies, health) of homeless students so that they can participate in school

  • Support homeless liaison position

  • Hire special teachers, aides, and tutors to provide supplemental instruction

  • Reach out to parents in homeless situations

  • Provide after-school and/or summer programs

  • Collect data on homeless students

  • Provide emergency food while the student is in school, including breakfast, lunch and snacks

  • Defray medical and dental expenses

  • Pay fees associated with obtaining birth certificates

  • Pay fees associated with obtaining immunizations

  • Pay the cost of GED for homeless students

  • Pay the cost of GED to improve literacy skills of homeless parents

  • Provide the cost of cap and gown to wear at graduation

  • Pay for school projects and/or field trips

 

Title I Reservation MAY NOT be used for:

  • Providing rental assistance for homeless families

  • Providing clothing assistance for parents

  • Paying for the cost of prom dresses, sports, physicals, or yearbooks

  • Transporting homeless students

  • Paying for physical exams to participate in sports

TITLE IX RESOURCES

Amery • Baldwin-Woodville • Barron • Birchwood • Boyceville • Cameron • Chetek Weyerhaeuser • Clayton

Clear Lake • Colfax • Cumberland • Durand • Elk Mound • Elmwood • Ellsworth • Frederic • Glenwood City

Grantsburg • Hudson • Luck • Menomonie • New Richmond • Osceola • Pepin • Plum City • Prairie Farm

Prescott • Rice Lake • River Falls • St. Croix Central • St. Croix Falls • Shell Lake • Siren • Somerset • Spooner

Spring Valley • Turtle Lake • Unity • Webster

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