Homeless student guidance - changes required for October 1st

     

On July 27th 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) issued updated guidance for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This guidance also covers the ESSA Title I requirements for students experiencing homelessness, with implementation requirements as soon as October 1, 2016.

Important things to know:

  • Significant changes to the McKinney-Vento Act and Title I requirements for children and youth experiencing homelessness are being implemented as a result of the reauthorization to ESSA
  • McKinney-Vento related changes must be implemented by October 1, 2016
  • Title I related changes don’t go into effect until the 2017-2018 school year
  • Updated parent notices will be made available to TransACT customers with active ESEA/NCLB/ESSA subscriptions to reflect the changes made by ESSA

ESSA Brings Significant Changes

In 2004, USED issued guidance under NCLB addressing the McKinneyVento and Title I requirements for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The July 27th USED non-regulatory guidance replaces the 2004 guidance issued under NCLB and addresses the changes to requirements under ESSA.

The updates include new or changed requirements in the following areas:

  • Identification of children and youth experiencing homelessness
  • Removal of “awaiting foster care placement” from the definition of “homeless children and youths”
  • Responsibilities for local liaison toward preschool-aged children experiencing homelessness
  • Collaboration and coordination with a long list of other service providers
  • Provision of professional development and technical assistance at the State and local level
  • Removal of enrollment barriers for children and youth experiencing homelessness
  • A focus on maintaining stability by expanding the definition of school of origin and providing transportation to the school of origin
  • Clarification of student record privacy, specifically concerning the student’s living situation
  • Details relate to dispute resolution
  • Changes to Title I funding set-asides for children and youth experiencing homelessness

Transition to ESSA Changes

According to this non-regulatory guidance, States and districts will need to implement the ESSA changes to the McKinney-Vento Act by October 1, 2016. There is at least one exception to this: The removal of “awaiting foster care placement” from the definition of “homeless children and youth” does not go into effect until December 10, 2016. Even though the changes are required to be implemented in the first half of the 2016-2017 school year, States are not required to submit plans that reflect the new requirements until 2017. In addition, the changes in requirements under Title I for children and youth experiencing homelessness do not take effect until the 2017-2018 school year.

The updated guidance can be accessed at the USED website. If you have any questions about the guidance and it’s impact on your district, or would like more information, please contact us at 425.977.2100, Option 3 or email at support@transact.com.

For more information about how our parent notices collection can help your school or district during the transition to ESSA, reach out to us here or request a demo.

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About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I,Title III,Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director of Federal Programs for TransACT.