Scenario: Family is living in temporary housing (doubled up with a grandparent) in a school district in the Southern Tier region. At the end of April, they secured permanent housing in a neighboring district but would like their 6th and 7th graders to continue to stay enrolled in their current school. Can they continue enrollment for the remainder of the school year or do they need to register in the district where they have permanent housing?
Questions to ask:
1- Is the Family McKinney-Vento eligible?
2- If the Family is McKinney-Vento eligible, can their request be granted by the school district?
3- Must the School District provide transportation?
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,)
Based on the family living in temporary housing w/ the grandparent, this family is McKinney-Vento eligible.
Question 2: If the Family is McKinney-Vento eligible, can their request be granted by the school district?
The answer is yes. If a student moves into permanent housing in a new district but opts to continue enrollment in the same school through the remainder of the year, McKinney-Vento benefits remain in effect. In New York State, students may continue in the same school for an additional year if that year is the student's terminal year in the school. The school district where the student is enrolled may directly bill the student’s new district of residence for the cost of tuition.
(42 U.S.C .§11432(g)(3)(A)(i)(II): Education Law §3209(2)(c))
Question 3: Must the School District provide transportation?
Yes. Based on the McKinney-Vento Act, eligible students should “receive transportation to school and to extra-curricular or academic activities, including an after-school activity, at the school for the duration of homelessness and for the remainder of the school year if they move into permanent housing and continue to attend the same school. 42 U.S.C. §§ 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii), 11432 (g)(4)(A), and 11432 (g)(6)(A)(vii)