Title X: Part C Homeless Education
All school districts are required to provide needed services to homeless children. The department receives funding for the program through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Grant Program and distributes grants competitively to LEAs that have developed programs that document effective collaboration among school districts and service providers to ensure that homeless children in that district receive needed services.
McKinney-Vento Definition of "Homeless"
Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act) defines "homeless" as follows:
The term "homeless children and youths"--
- means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and
- children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
- children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
- children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
Procedures for Dispute Resolution Re: Education Placement for Homeless Children & Youths
Any dispute regarding the educational placement of a homeless child or youth shall be reported to the LEA school board office, where a record of the dispute should be made and referred to the homeless education coordinator. LEA officials should review the State Plan and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act. LEA officials should also review the LEA Assurances to the Tennessee Department of Education regarding the removal of barriers to enrollment, school selection, and the provision of comparable services. All parties (principals, homeless coordinators, child's parents/guardians, social worker, and youth involved) shall meet, discuss the issue; and arrive at a decision.
Resolutions of disputes regarding educational placement shall be accomplished within ten school days. Disputes not resolved within ten school days are to be reported to the state coordinator for the education of homeless children and youth. The state coordinator will then take the necessary action to promptly resolve the dispute in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act. The child/youth must be immediately admitted to the school in which he/she is seeking enrollment, pending resolution of the dispute. The parent/guardian must be provided with a written explanation of the school's decision on the dispute and shall have the right to appeal the decision.
Links of Interest
- Homeless Resources
- Homeless Strategies
- Guidance for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program
- LEA Requirements for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act
- Sample LEA Policy for Homeless Education
- Tennessee's Homeless State Plan
- National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
- Local Homeless Education Liaison Toolkit