at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
PLEASE NOTE:The appeal process in New York no longer includes a "Stay" request provision. Information about the stay request process for McKinney-Vento appeals in documents published before October 1, 2016 is out of date.
School districts must continue enrollment and transportation until the Commissioner gives a final decision on any appeal. Please see the State Education Department's updated McKinney-Vento appeal form for more information.
If a family or student in temporary housing and their school district disagree about a student's McKinney-Vento eligibility for enrollment, school selection options, or transportation, the school district may challenge the student's eligibility under McKinney-Vento. To do so, the school district must:
- Provide written notice to the student or family about the reasons for their disagreement;
- Provide complete information in writing about the right to appeal to the family or youth
- Put the family or youth in touch with the McKinney-Vento liaison for assistance;
- Provide immediate enrollment and transportation while the appeal is pending and until all available appeals are final.
McKinney-Vento disputes and appeals are reviewed and decided by the New York State Education Department. Internal school district dispute and appeal processes cannot be used to exclude a student in temporary housing from school or discontinue the student's McKinney-Vento protections.
Find answers to commonly asked questions about the dispute resolution/appeal process for students in temporary housing situations.
Appeal Sample Evidence [PDF]
This document provides a list of examples of evidence that a parent, legal guardian, or unaccompanied youth may include in an appeal in order to show that the student is homeless under McKinney-Vento.
Sample District Dispute Resolution Policy [Word doc]
This is a sample policy that school districts may adopt in order to follow the New York State procedure for resolving disputes regarding the McKinney-Vento Act. This resource has been updated to reflect the changes made to the McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which went into effect on October 1, 2016.
NYS-TEACHS is a technical assistance center and cannot offer legal advice. You may contact the following agencies for legal advice and/or assistance related to the McKinney Vento dispute process. Please note, this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other providers who will also offer legal advice on these issues.
New York State Education Department Office of Counsel: Appeals to the Commissioner Involving Homeless Children and Youth
The New York State Education Department Office of Counsel's website gives instructions and sample forms for going through the McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process. Forms can be found in English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, and Haitian Creole.
Sample District Decision Letter [Word doc]
A McKinney-Vento District Decision Letter must be sent by the district when there is a dispute regarding a student's eligibility under the McKinney-Vento Act. This resource has been updated to reflect the changes made to the McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which went into effect on October 1, 2016.
Form Notice of Petition (includes the Petition) for an Appeal Involving a Homeless Child or Youth [PDF]
This form should be completed by the parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth (with help from the liaison) any time that the parent/guardian or youth wants to challenge a school district's denial of enrollment and/or transportation under the McKinney-Vento Act.
Form for Affidavit of Service by Mail by Local Educational Agency Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth [Word doc]
This form should be completed by the McKinney-Vento liaison to verify that the individual has been provided with the petition and that the liaison is mailing it to the school district employee who has been designated to accept service on behalf of the school district.
Form for Affidavit of Acceptance of Personal Service by Local Educational Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth [Word doc]
This form should be completed by the LEA liaison or the person who has been designated by the board of education to accept service on behalf of the school district. This form affirms that the individual who completed the form has accepted the petition on behalf of the named respondents in the school district.
Form for Verification of Receipt and Transmittal of Petition and Materials by Local Educational Agency Liaison [Word doc]
This form should be completed by the LEA liaison and given to the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth to verify that the liaison has received the petition and will mail it to the Office of Counsel of the New York State Education Department.
Laws and Guidance
PLEASE NOTE: The information about the stay request in this document is out of date. In October 2016, the State Education Department updated its McKinney-Vento appeal form. Parents, guardians, and youth don't have to ask for a stay in McKinney-Vento appeals to the Commissioner any more. Instead, school districts must continue enrollment and transportation until the Commissioner gives a final decision on any appeal.
On July 19, 2011, the State Education Department issued a Field Memo that is meant to assist LEAs and McKinney-Vento liaisons in navigating the appeal process and to ensure compliance with timelines for submission of the required forms.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Reauthorized by Title IX Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act [PDF]
This document is the full text of the federal reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which went into effect on October 1, 2016. Disputes are discussed in section 11432(g)(3)(E).
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
11/15/17 Workshop in Buffalo
11/30/17 Training @ SW BOCES
11/21/17 Supporting Students Displaced by Natural Disasters
12/13/17 College Access
12/20/17 Funding and Reimbursement