The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless students as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes students who are sharing the housing of others due to economic hardship; living in cars, parks or public places, motels, hotels or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; awaiting foster care placement; or migratory children living in the defined circumstances.
Title IX, Part A: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act – Education for Homeless Children and Youth
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was reauthorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to ensure the educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. ESEA made significant changes in the way local educational agencies (LEAs) address the needs of homeless students. Among these changes are requirements for:
- The Georgia Department of Education (Department) and Amana Academy West to review and revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youth.
- Amana Academy West to use the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act definition of homeless when identifying and determining which students are eligible for services.
- Amana Academy West to coordinate the local plan required under Title I with the needs of homeless children and youth, including making a mandatory set-aside of funds under Title I, Part A to serve homeless children.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act guarantees to homeless children the following:
- The right to immediate enrollment in school.
- The right to attend school in school of origin or in the attendance area where the family currently resides.
- The right to receive transportation to school of origin if requested by parents and is in the best interest of the child.
- The right to comparable services as other schoolmates including transportation and supplemental services.
- The right to attend school along with children who are not homeless.
- The posting of homeless students’ rights in all schools and other places around the community that low-income families and high-risk families may visit.
Amana Academy West Homeless liaison ensures that:
- Homeless children and youth are identified by school personnel and through coordination activities with other entities and agencies.
- Homeless students enroll in—and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in— school.
- Homeless children and youth, their families, and unaccompanied youth receive educational services for which they are eligible, including Head Start, preschool programs administered by the LEA, referrals to health, mental health, dental, and other appropriate services.
- Parents or guardians of homeless children and youth, and unaccompanied youth are informed of educational and related opportunities available to their children, and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.
- Parents or guardians of a homeless child or youth and unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to and from the school of origin, and are assisted in accessing transportation services to their selected school.
- Enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
- Public notice of the educational rights of homeless students is disseminated in all schools and other places around the community.
McKinney-Vento Dispute Process:
In the event of a disagreement between families and Amana Academy West regarding placement and/or enrollment decisions. McKinney-Vento families and youths have the right to appeal the placement and/or enrollment decisions. Amana Academy West is required to provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of any decisions related to school selection or enrollment made by Amana Academy West. along with a written explanation of the appeal rights. (Section 722(g) (3) (E) (ii)).
To receive the form to submit a Amana Academy West McKinney-Vento Dispute, please contact the Amana Academy West McKinney-Vento Liaison.
For more information contact: Latanya Farrar, LCSW, Student Services, 678-331-9062.