Charter Schools are public schools in New York State. They are required to follow the same regulations as set forth by the New York State Department of Education. The purpose of this blog is to help liaisons in traditional public and charter schools understand the role and the rights entitled to McKinney-Vento eligible students across the state. It is important that schools all work together to properly serve homeless students in our state. Often misconceptions about charter schools prevent homeless students from getting the resources they are entitled to under New York State regulations.
Things to know:
All Charter Schools in NYS must appoint a McKinney-Vento liaison. You can read more about the roles and responsibilities of liaisons here.
McKinney-Vento eligible students who attend charter schools are entitled to transportation to and from the school and you can read more about setting up transportation for students here. In addition to the resources on our TEACHS site, please see this memo. In general, the same transportation rules apply for charter schools: if a student in a charter school becomes homeless, the student is entitled to transportation for the duration of homelessness, through the remainder of the school year in which the student becomes permanently housed, and for one additional year if that year is the student’s last year in the school building (terminal grade). The designated school district is responsible for transporting the student in temporary housing if transportation is not otherwise provided by a local department of social services. The student can designate either the school district of origin or the school district of current location. And the designated school district may be different from the school district in which the charter school is located. On days when the designated school district is not in session, the charter school must arrange for transportation. If the student’s new local school district transports students to and from the charter school, the student also has the option to transfer to the new local school district and receive transportation. For more information, please call the NYS-TEACHS hotline at 800-388-2014 or see the Short Guide to Transportation for Students in Temporary Housing Attending Charter Schools.)
All students must be enrolled in schools in a timely manner. You can read about enrollment and school selection here. Please note: if the student meets the eligibility criteria for the charter school and there is space in the school, students in temporary housing must be enrolled in school, even if they have missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness (42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(C)(i)(II).
For further reading, you can see this memo from NYSED.
If you are a liaison working in New York City, you can check out this helpful site from the New York City Charter School Center. For additional services for students in temporary housing, the New York City DOE has guidance located here.
The National Center for Homeless Education offers a memo for charter schools here.
Our TEACHS site also has FAQs on various charter school topics, that you can visit here.
Our web series is underway! Part 2 will reconvene on Thursday, March 3. Registration is currently closed, but we will be sharing resources after the final air date. Stay tuned!!
Special NYSED Event: The NYS Education Department, STAC & Medicaid Unit has scheduled a webinar designed to assist districts in processing request for reimbursement approvals for homeless placement. Topics covered include: district and STAC & Medicaid Unit responsibilities, a step-by-step guide for submitting eligibility, requests for reimbursement approval and verifications for payment; and an overview of chargebacks. This training is recommended for all district personnel who are responsible for reporting STAC homeless placements. You can register for this event here.
Webinar- Supporting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness on Thursday, March 24th from 9:30-11:00 am. This webinar will focus on how the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act applies to young children, specifically preschoolers who experience homelessness. Participants will be given tools and resources to assist in working with families with young children who are experiencing homelessness. Included within this session will be an overview of how the federal law applies to the homelessness of children with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). *You may wish to invite your CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) Chairperson, from your district for this webinar as well as any others working in the Early Childhood field such as Head Start, Universal Pre-K, and other district or municipality representatives working within the CPSE. Stay tuned for the registration link!
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