top of page

Tales from the Field: Students with IEPs

Many of our helpline calls involve cases with students who have disabilities with an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and special class placements. The role of the district liaison is to work collaboratively with the special education office to assist the family with enrollment, school selection, and transfer of school records (including the IEP) if it is in the best interest of the student. Often times, liaisons are not aware of the variety of options available for students with special needs. This tale is based on several calls we’ve fielded in the past month.


The Tale: A family with three children was permanently housed in a district in the western region of NY when they lost their housing due to job loss and moved into a temporary shelter in the neighboring district. One of the children is a student with a disability and has an IEP for a special class placement. Upon enrollment attempt in the new district of current residence, the district told the parents they do not have any special class placement openings that would meet the child’s needs so suggested he remain enrolled in his school of origin. The parents are concerned that an almost 1-hour bus ride would not be in their child’s best interest given his disability.


Questions to ask:

1- Is the Family McKinney-Vento eligible?

2- Can a school district decline enrollment based on lack of special education openings?

3- Who determines best interest for the student with an IEP?


Resources:

1- Review the McKinney-Vento Act and New York State guidance regarding families and McKinney-Vento eligibility. As always, you can find a wealth of resources on eligibility right here on our NYSTEACHS website.

2- After reviewing the rules on eligibility, if you’re still unsure of what to advise, you are absolutely encouraged to call the helpline for assistance: 1-800-388-2014.


Question 1: Is the Family McKinney-Vento eligible?

The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youths” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes children and youths who are: sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled-up”); living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; living in emergency or transitional shelters; or abandoned in hospitals; (Education Law §3209(1)(a); 8 NYCRR §100.2(x)(1); see also 42 USC §11434A(2)(B)(i); U.S. DOE’s Non-Regulatory Guidance, Question A-2,)

Answer: Yes, Based on the family living in temporary housing in a shelter, this family is McKinney-Vento eligible.

Question 2: Can a school district decline enrollment based on lack of special education openings?


Question 3: Who determines best interest for the student with an IEP?


82 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All