at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
NYS-TEACHS provides technical assistance to school districts, social service providers, shelters, families, youth and others about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [PDF]. Our services include:
- A Toll Free Helpline for questions about school-related issues (800-388-2014);
- On-site trainings, webinars, and annual McKinney-Vento Workshops on the education of students in temporary housing; and
- Free Posters and Brochures in multiple languages with information about the rights of students in temporary housing.
PLEASE NOTE: In some cases, the resources on this page may not be current.
Important changes related to McKinney-Vento were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The changes went into effect October 1, 2016, and include: expanded transportation protections until the end of the school year for temporarily housed students who move into permanent housing, the inclusion of preschool in the definition of "school of origin" (children can stay in their school of origin and receive transportation to that school), and changes to the dispute resolution process which include the provision of all McKinney-Vento related services (for example, continued enrollment and transportation) until a final decision is issued. For more information about ESSA changes to the McKinney-Vento Act, see the State Education Department's Field Memo regarding Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act.
Please continue to check here for updated information about how new laws will impact policies and procedures in New York State, and as always, feel free to contact NYS-TEACHS at 800-388-2014 with any questions you may have.
New and Noteworthy
NEW! NYSED Field Memo: Educational Stability and Transportation Provisions for Students in Foster Care in Title I, Part A as Amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
This Field Memo was jointly issued by NYSED and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to provide important new information about students in foster care. There are changes to Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of December 2015. The memo highlights changes that must be implemented by December 10, 2016, including the requirements that: (1) Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) collaborate with Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) to ensure school stability and transportation for children in foster care, and (2) LEAs must designate a Foster Care Point of Contact to work collaboratively with LDSSs in their communities.
NEW! Housing Questionnaire [Word doc]
This new Housing Questionnaire should be used by all local educational agencies (LEAs), which include school districts, charter schools, and BOCES, as the first page of the enrollment packet for all newly enrolling students, and should also be completed by all students/families who report a change of address. The Housing Questionnaire was updated on November 11, 2016, and it replaces the former Enrollment Form/Residency Questionnaire. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires all LEAs that receive Title I funds and encourages all other LEAs, to use the new Housing Questionnaire, which asks about students' living arrangements, in order to identify students experiencing homelessness in the school district.
The number of students identified as homeless across New York State rose 18% from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The 2015-16 school year data on student homelessness is now available here. The spreadsheet includes total counts of students identified as homeless at school districts and charter schools across the state, as well as county-level data by grade level and primary nighttime resident. The data were collected by the New York State Education Department in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS).
NYSED Field Memo: Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act
This Field Memo provides critical information about how New York State school districts must implement the changes to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) as a result of the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015. In general, while States will not be required to submit State plans which conform to all of the new ESSA provisions until 2017, ESSA requires that State educational agencies and local educational agencies begin implementing the new McKinney-Vento requirements by October 1, 2016.
This September 2016 Field Memo outlines the requirements for school districts to attend a McKinney-Vento training this school year
On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program. This revised Non-Regulatory Guidance for the McKinney-Vento program replaces the July 2004 Guidance and includes new questions that reflect both the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act made by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which take effect on October 1, 2016, and new technical assistance on promising practices for implementing homeless education requirements at the State and local levels. The Non-Regulatory Guidance can be downloaded here and an accompanying factsheet is available here.
All Head Start Programs must prioritize children who are homelessness for enrollment. They also must collect data on the number of children enrolled who are homeless. This Tip Sheet has information about how Head Start programs can identify children experiencing homelessness and connect them with Head Start Programs. The Housing Questionnaire should be used by Head Start staff as a part of the enrollment process to identify any child who is homeless. If you would like to share the Tip Sheet electronically, click here for the version with embedded hyperlinks. If you would like to print out the Tip Sheet with the links spelled out, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the information in this document is now out of date. Important changes related to McKinney-Vento were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which went into effect October 1, 2016. A revised document will be posted soon.
This October 2015 Field Memo from the New York State Department of Education provides information about whether a student should be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act in situations where a student has been removed from his/her home because of an allegation of abuse or neglect and the child welfare agency arranges for a relative or family friend to assume temporary custody of the student, rather than place the student in foster care.
In July 2015, NYSED Commissioner's Regulations governing enrollment of students in public school were amended to ensure that all students, and in particular unaccompanied youth, have timely access to school. The Regulations require that school districts accept a broader range of documents to establish residency and establish timelines for making residency determinations. The NYSED has produced brochures in multiple languages that districts can provide to parents so that they better understand the enrollment process. The brochure is currently available in: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Karen, Nepali, Russian, and Urdu.
This August 2015 NYSED Field Memo provides information about transportation to and from school for children placed in foster care.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
11/29/16 Workshop in Albany
12/07/16 Workshop in New York City
12/12/16 Workshop in New York City
12/16/16 Workshop in New York City
Schedule for Winter/Spring Webinar Series Coming Soon