Justice Scale

New York State Education Department Laws & Guidance

Although the McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law, New York State laws clarify some of the federal protections and add more. Some important protections for New Yorkers are: Protecting the continued enrollment and transportation for students in their terminal year in a school building (such as their senior year in high school), even after they have found permanent housing; Assigning transportation responsibility to the designated district of attendance; Assigning transportation responsibility to the Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) under certain conditions; More specific information about summer school participation and transportation for students in temporary housing.

Topic Resources

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Guides & Fact Sheets

A Guide to Understanding the New Rules for School Registration

In July 2015, the 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 New York State Education Department 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.

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Laws & Guidance

Accompanying Field Memo of the Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy

NYSED Field Memo

On March 16, 2018, the New York State Education Department released an updated version of its Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy.

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #01-2018 (March 2018) addresses the updated version of the Sample Local Education Agency McKinney-Vento Policy.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Allowable and Unallowable Uses for Title I Homeless Set-Aside Funding

New York State Education Department

All schools districts are required to set-aside a portion of their Title I, Part A funding for students experiencing homelessness. This document provides information about allowable and unallowable uses for Title I homeless set-aside funding.

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Laws & Guidance

Charter School Guidance Q&A

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #03-2013 (May 2013) answers common questions related to how McKinney-Vento applies to Charter Schools including: how to determine which school district pays the charter school tuition, who provides transportation, and basic information about reimbursement.

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Laws & Guidance

College Counseling and Access for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #03-2018 (April 2018) outlines the responsibilities of Local Educational Agencies (LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES) to support students in temporary housing in pursuing college or other post-secondary opportunities. The memo identifies best practices and provides helpful resources LEAs can use to satisfy these responsibilities.

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Laws & Guidance

Commissioner's Regulations Section 100.2(x) Updates

New York State Education Department

This NYSED Memo (September 2017) details the amendments to the Commissioner’s regulation governing homeless education (section 100.2(x)), which are effective July 1, 2017. They were updated to conform to the changes in the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the recent changes to N.Y. Education Law Section 3209.

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Forms & Templates

Designation of Person in Parental Relation Form

NYS TEACHS Designation of Person in Parental Relation Form:

If a parent is unable to make education-related decisions for a child, they may temporarily allow another person to make decisions on behalf of the student. N.Y. General Obligations Law § 5-1551. The person who takes on this responsibility is called the “designee” or the “person in parental relation” to the child. The parent can limit the decision-making authority of a person in parental relation to a certain time period or to certain types of decisions, as long as these limitations are described in the designation.

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Laws & Guidance

Determining McKinney-Vento Eligibility for Students in Direct Placements

NYS Education Department

The purpose of this field memo is to assist Local Child Education Agencies (LEAs) and McKinney-Vento liaisons (also known as LEA liaisons or homeless liaisons) with McKinney-Vento eligibility determinations when 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 most of these cases, at least initially, the student should be considered homeless and therefore protected under the McKinney-Vento Act and related state law.

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Laws & Guidance

District-Administered Pre-K Programs for Children in Temporary Housing

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #04-2015 (June 2015) provides guidance on the rights of students in temporary housing to access public preschool education programs offered by a school district. It also provides guidance to school districts on outreach and identification of preschool age temporarily housed children, how to request funding and seek class-size variance requests for programs that may already be full, and other early childhood education programs and services that may be available.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents dated before 2016 may not reflect the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2017 amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, and/or 2017 amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Laws & Guidance

Educational Services for Recently Arrived Evacuees, Refugees,
Immigrants and/ or Unaccompanied Children

This memo is to inform Local Education Agencies (LEAs) of the educational rights of students who are evacuees who may be living in temporary housing. With many Afghan evacuees being resettled in the United States in recent months, there may be some confusion about the services these students are eligible to receive under Title VI, subtitle B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act).

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Laws & Guidance

Educational Services for Recently Arrived Unaccompanied Children

New York State Education Department

The New York State Education Department issued this September 10, 2014 letter to all school districts regarding educational services for recently arrived unaccompanied immigrant children, many of whom may be eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act.

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Laws & Guidance

Extreme Weather Events in New York State and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #04-2012 (November 2012) describes how and when McKinney-Vento protections apply to students displaced by a disaster.

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Laws & Guidance

Extreme Weather Events: Hurricane Sandy/Nor'easter and Transportation for Nonpublic, Homeless and Charter School Students

New York State Education Department

This memo provides information about transportation of students post-Superstorm Sandy, including students attending nonpublic schools. However, please note that transportation protections, privacy protections, and access to pre-school programs, for example, have been expanded under state and federal law since the memo was published.

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Laws & Guidance

Field Advisory: Diploma Options for Puerto Rican Students Displaced by Hurricanes Irma or Maria

New York State Education Department

NYSED and the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) have agreed to allow students who were displaced by Hurricane Irma or Maria and subsequently enrolled in a high school in New York State to be offered the opportunity to complete either the New York State diploma requirements or the requirements to earn a diploma from Puerto Rico. This applies to students who had attained 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in Puerto Rico by October 2017. This field memo provides information on the PRDE graduation requirements, the process to request a Puerto Rico high school diploma, and how to code students in SIRS. For more information, contact the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages at (518) 474-8775.

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Laws & Guidance

Guidance Regarding Out-of-State/Country Children who become Homeless and Tuition Reimbursement

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #07-2015 (March 2015) clarifies that schools districts cannot get additional state aid for instruction (also referred to as tuition reimbursement) through the STAC 202 process for students experiencing homelessness who were last permanently housed outside of New York State.

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Laws & Guidance

Guidance Relating to the Right of Individuals Over Compulsory School Age to Attend High School

New York State Education Department

This May 2016 memo explains that all individuals, regardless of citizenship, who reside in New York State (NYS) and are between the ages of 5 and 21, have the right to a free public high school education in their school district of residence.

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Laws & Guidance

Guidance to LEAs to Support Students Experiencing Homelessness

NYSED Guidance

NYSED and the Office of the Attorney General released this guidance to assist local education agencies in their obligations to students experiencing homelessness to help ensure that they are connected to education and other supports. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of children experiencing homelessness has likely increased, and identifying these students has become more difficult due to remote instruction across the state. This guidance reminds local education agencies of their obligations to students experiencing homelessness and provides available resources to assist local education agencies with their efforts.

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Laws & Guidance

Homeless Guidance for Permanent Placement / McKinney-Vento Eligible Students and Tuition Reimbursement

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #06-2013 (September 2013) clarifies when a school district can receive additional state aid for instruction for the cost of educating a student in temporary housing and how to request such aid.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents dated before 2016 may not reflect the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2017 amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, and/or 2017 amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Laws & Guidance

Homeless Testing Memo

New York State Education Department

This 2010 memo to school administrators addresses the potential barriers confronting homeless students taking state assessments. School administrators, along with state agencies providing services to homeless students, should be well aware of state testing requirements and test schedules and should work to make sure that homeless students are not denied access to these examinations.

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Forms & Templates

Housing Questionnaire

New York State Education Department

The Housing Questionnaire should be used by all school districts as the first page of the enrollment packet for all newly enrolling students. The Housing Questionnaire should also be given to all students/families any time they report a change of address. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires all LEAs that receive Title I funds (including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES) to use the Housing Questionnaire. NYSED also encourages all other LEAs to use the Housing Questionnaire because it asks about students’ living arrangements in order to identify students experiencing homelessness in the school district.

The Housing Questionnaire was updated on November 11, 2016, replacing the former Enrollment Form/Residency Questionnaire.

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Laws & Guidance

Implementation of Changes to Education Law §3209 and Commissioner’s Regulation §100.2(x)

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #02-2017 (September 2017) provides important information about changes to Education Law §3209 and Commissioner’s regulation §100.2(x) impacting how New York State school districts and charter schools provide services to students experiencing homelessness.

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Laws & Guidance

Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #03-2016 (September 2016) provides important 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 are not required to submit State plans which conform to all of the new ESSA provisions until 2017, ESSA required that State educational agencies and local educational agencies begin implementing the new McKinney-Vento requirements by October 1, 2016.

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Laws & Guidance

Information on Transportation of Prekindergarten Students under Four Years of Age

New York State Education Department

This memorandum from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Early Learning and the Office of Educational Management Services provides information about student transportation safety for students under four years of age, including information on appropriate car seats and bus monitors.

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Laws & Guidance

Joint Guidance on State Requirements for Vaccinations

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #02-2015 (March 2015) provides important changes to New York Education Law Section 3209 governing the rights of students in temporary housing went into effect on April 20, 2017. They reflect changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Immediate enrollment and immunizations are discussed in sub-section (2)(e)-(f).

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Laws & Guidance

LEA Requirements for Implementing McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution Process

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #02-2011 (July 2011) provides assistance to LEAs and McKinney-Vento liaisons in navigating the appeal process and to ensure compliance with timelines for submission of the required forms. 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 do not have to ask for a stay in McKinney-Vento appeals to the Commissioner anymore. Instead, school districts must continue enrollment and transportation until the Commissioner gives a final decision on any appeal.

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Laws & Guidance

Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Training

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s 2020 McKinney-Vento Field Memo provides information regarding required training for McKinney-Vento liaisons to participate in professional development so that they can better identify and meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness under the federal McKinney-Vento Act. Federal law also requires that McKinney-Vento liaisons ensure that local educational agency (LEA) personnel providing McKinney-Vento services (e.g., superintendents, registrars, transportation directors, CSE chairs, school counselors, school social workers, principals, Title I directors, teachers) receive professional development. Liaisons can do this by either providing the training to staff themselves or by ensuring that LEA staff participate in one of the trainings offered by NYS-TEACHS.

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Laws & Guidance

McKinney-Vento Guidance Regarding Shared Housing Affidavit

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #06-2009 (October 2009) describes the limits on when school districts can use shared housing and proof of residency affidavits in the enrollment of students claiming to be homeless. Note: This memo was published in 2009 and thus does not contain the most up-to-date housing questionnaire. For that document, please see Housing Questionnaire.

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Laws & Guidance

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Reauthorized by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that protects the public education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The text attached here is the latest version of the law since it was reauthorized on December 10, 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Guides & Fact Sheets

McKinney-Vento Tips for Parents and Guardians

NYS TEACHS

This issue brief, from the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), provides background on the McKinney-Vento Act and is designed to help school staff members in applying the definition of homelessness under the law to individual children and youth.

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Laws & Guidance

NYS Field Memo: McKinney-Vento Summer School Information

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s 2020 McKinney-Vento Field Memo discusses the rights of students in temporary housing to participate in summer school. This memo reviews access to summer school for students in temporary housing, including fee waivers, transportation, and the use of Title I set-aside funding.

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Laws & Guidance

NYSED Guidance on Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

NYSED Guidance

This August 2019 guidance from NYSED provides basic information on the educational rights of students in temporary housing in NY State, including information on other NYSED guidance, forms, and resources.

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Laws & Guidance

New York City Charter Schools and Community School District Preference for Homeless Students (a)

NYSED Field Memo

NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #03-2010 (July 2010) discusses in which community school districts within NYC children who are homeless may claim preference in order to participate fully in charter school admissions lotteries.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents dated before 2016 may not reflect the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2017 amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, and/or 2017 amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Laws & Guidance

New York City Charter Schools and Community School District Preference for Homeless Students (b)

A follow-up memo, NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #03-2010 A (October 2010) provides answers to questions on this topic and is meant to clarify the memo above.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents dated before 2016 may not reflect the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2017 amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, and/or 2017 amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Laws & Guidance

New York Consolidated State Plan

The McKinney-Vento Act requires that all State Education Agencies submit a plan for the education of students who are homeless. The New York Education Department’s homeless education plan is included as part of its Consolidated State Plan under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The homeless education portion of New York’s Consolidated State Plan can be found on pages 197-205.

The Consolidated State Plan was issued in March 2017 and finalized in January 2018.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State Education Law Section 3209, Education of Homeless Children

NYS Education Law Section 3209 describes the rights of students in temporary housing in New York State.

Important changes to New York Education Law Section 3209 went into effect on April 20, 2017. The changes to this law reflect changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Below, along with the link to download the new text of the law, you will find a link to a marked-up version of Education Law § 3209 that highlights the changes.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State Education Law Section 3212—Persons in Parental Relation

This State Education Law defines the term “person in parental relation” in cases where a student’s biological or legal parent is unavailable. For more information about unaccompanied youth, please refer to the Unaccompanied Youth page on this website.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State Education Law Section 3635, Transportation

This State Education Law addresses school transportation. For more information about transportation for students who are homeless, please see our transportation page.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State General Obligations Law, Title 15-A—Designation of Person in Parental Relation

This law addresses a parent’s power to designate a “person in parental relation” to a child. If a parent is unable to make education-related or medical decisions for a child, they may temporarily designate another person to make those decisions on behalf of the student.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State General Obligations Law, Title 15-A—Designation of Person in Parental Relation Website

This website is the law that addresses a parent’s power to designate a “person in parental relation” to a child. If a parent is unable to make education-related or medical decisions for a child, they may temporarily designate another person to make those decisions on behalf of the student.

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Laws & Guidance

New York State Public Health Law Section 2164—Immunization

This State Public Health Law explains that students have 14 days (which may be extended to 30 days) during which they may attend school while the school is waiting for proof of immunization. Students in temporary housing have additional protections with regard to submitting proof of immunization. For more information, please see our page on immunizations.

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Forms & Templates

OCFS Designation of Person in Parental Relationship Form

OCFS Designation of Person in Parental Relationship Form:

A template, from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), includes a more wide-reaching set of decision-making abilities for the “designee.” For example, this form includes medical decision-making authority, unlike the form above. If a parent is unable to make education or health-related decisions for a child, they may temporarily allow another person to make decisions on behalf of the student. The person who takes on this responsibility is called the “designee” or the “person in parental relation” to the child. The parent can limit the decision-making authority of a person in parental relation to a certain time period or certain types of decisions, as long as these limitations are noted.

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Forms & Templates

Sample Enrollment Process for Students in Temporary Housing

Every Local Educational Agency (LEA) must ensure that students who are experiencing homelessness are immediately enrolled in school. This is a Sample Enrollment Process that school districts may follow for immediately enrolling students experiencing homelessness.

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Forms & Templates

Sample Local Educational Agency (LEA) McKinney-Vento Policy

NYSED Field Memo

On March 16, 2018, the New York State Education Department released an updated version of its Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy. This new version reflects changes made by the reauthorization of McKinney-Vento Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and New York Education Law § 3209 on the Education of Homeless Children. LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES are encouraged to use this as a guide when developing their own local board policies for serving students in temporary housing.

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Laws & Guidance

Sample Local Educational Agency (LEA) McKinney-Vento Policy

NYSED Field Memo

On March 16, 2018, the New York State Education Department released an updated version of its Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy. This new version reflects changes made by the reauthorization of McKinney-Vento Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and New York Education Law § 3209 on the Education of Homeless Children. LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES are encouraged to use this as a guide when developing their own local board policies for serving students in temporary housing.

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Forms & Templates

Sample Transportation Protocol

NYS-TEACHS

This Sample Transportation Protocol helps with communication and coordination between school districts and local departments of social services any time the local department of social services is responsible for arranging transportation for a student in temporary housing. This Protocol is a template that school districts and local departments of social services are encouraged to use. School districts and local departments of social services are also welcome to adapt this Protocol to meet their needs.

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Laws & Guidance

Students Displaced by 2017 Hurricanes

New York State Education Department

This memo provides information and resources for local educational agencies (LEAs), including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES, regarding the rights of and services available to students displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.

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Laws & Guidance

Title I, Part A Set-Aside for Homeless Students: New Data Collection Procedures, Program Service Code 0892

NYSED Field Memo

This Memo from NYSED (May 2019) describes how LEAs should enter data in their student management systems on students served with Title I, Part A set-aside funds for students experiencing homelessness. Starting in the 2018-19 school year, all LEAs must report this information for individual students through the Student Information Repository System using Program Service Code 0892.

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Laws & Guidance

Transportation from LDSS for Students Who Are Homeless

OTDA Administrative Directive

Under New York State law, in certain circumstances, the local social services is responsible for arranging and paying for transportation to and from school for students experiencing homelessness. Read this Administrative Directive to find out more about when the local department of social services is responsible for a student’s transportation.

Please note: This document does not include information on the transportation changes made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which went into effect on October 1, 2016 or the changes to New York State Education Law Section 3209 which went into effect on April 20, 2017.