Is there a legal citation supporting transportation for students to exams, assessments, etc.? For example, we have a student is in our virtual learning model who needs to come to the school campus for an exam for ESL.

Answer: This falls under 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(I), which requires LEAs to “review and revise policies to remove barriers to the identification of homeless children and youths, and the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in schools in the...

What is the best way to handle situations where a parent has been untruthful about their living situation? A family told me in August they had lost their housing and were living doubled up with a sister outside of our district (20 miles away). We set up transportation. Recently, another staff member was talking with the mom about another issue, and the mom revealed that she actually had bought the new house and was not living with a sister. Should I revoke the bus even though we’ve been transporting for almost half of the year? Remove the McKinney-Vento flag and automatic free lunch status?

Answer: There are some steps you need to follow under the law. First, you have to put in writing why you believe the family did not meet the definition of homelessness, and information about how the parent can dispute the decision if she wishes. If anything was lost...

Can McKinney-Vento funds be used for educational field trips, such as the zoo and science museums? Food, transportation, and entrance fees would need to be included. We have a summer program and would like to take the students on a field trip.

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act explicitly authorizes the use of subgrant funds for: “The provision of tutoring, supplemental instruction, and enriched educational services that are linked to the achievement of the same challenging State academic standards as the State...

A parent has incurred transportation costs getting her children to the school of origin during this past school year. She has asked to be reimbursed. The district is amenable to that; however, they are asking for receipts. The parent is unable to provide anything other than one receipt for a turnpike toll.

Answer: An important preliminary question for this answer is when the school knew the student was experiencing homelessness.  If the school knew earlier, and knew the parent was transporting the child to the school of origin, then reimbursement is the school’s...

I am trying to get my district to reimburse a student for gas he has used driving himself to/from his school of origin. An administrator says we can not issue cash/check because this is a student (not a parent), and there is no accountability. Are there any restrictions on school of origin transportation reimbursement for a youth, as opposed to a parent?

Answer: No. In fact, the McKinney-Vento Act is clear that transportation assistance is required for unaccompanied youth: “Each local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths, designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), shall ensure that–...

We have a 10th grade student staying in domestic violence shelter. The parent will not divulge the address of the shelter and is requesting her child be picked up and dropped off at a donut shop. How are these types of situations usually handled? Our statewide transportation system will not pick up students at storefronts, and also the LEA needs a contact address.

Answer: In situations like this, schools cannot require the address of the shelter.  Many or most domestic violence shelters do not allow residents to share the address.  That is a critical element of safety for all the families staying there. If the school were to...

I have a student who was identified under McKinney-Vento this school year, and now recently has been placed in foster care. Should we continue to serve the student under McKinney-Vento, or under the Title I foster care provisions? (If under McKinney-Vento, the districts split the cost of transportation; however, under foster care, our child welfare agency reimburses the cost of transportation.)

Answer: If a student is identified as experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act this school year, and later in the year is taken into child welfare custody and put in foster care, the district can continue serving the student under McKinney-Vento for the...

A family lost their electricity and then was evicted in November, and the children moved in with grandparents. Shortly after the move, a judge gave the grandparents legal custody. The students remain in the school of origin. 1) Do the students meet McKinney-Vento criteria? 2) Is the grandparents’ district responsible for sharing the cost of transportation to the school of origin?

Answer: Yes and yes. The students lost their housing due to an eviction (as well as substandard conditions–specifically, no electricity). They moved in with grandparents due to the loss of housing. The custody order does not change that. If the children are...

We have three students, two brothers and a little girl, who need out of district transportation to the same area. So far this year, all three have been a part of our after school program getting help with homework, math, and reading. All of them need the help. But now the mother of the two brothers doesn’t want them attending the after school program. Do we now need to provide transportation for the two boys right after school and transportation for the girl after the after-school program? Can we tell the mother that transportation will be after our after school program at least until the end of the quarter when the after-school program ends?

Answer: I think you can maintain the same transportation arrangements at least until the end of the quarter. While the school can’t force a parent to participate in the after-school program as a condition of transportation to the school of origin, the school...

Due to mental health issues, a district has placed a student in a re-engagement program. The district contracts with this private program. The student remains enrolled in the district, but is attending this non-public program. She cannot attend the program without transportation. Is transportation required? And who pays for the transportation– the district, or the private program?

Answer: There are two separate issues here. One is whether the student should be transported to school. The answer to that is yes. The district has placed the student in this program, and transportation is a barrier to her enrollment and retention in the program....

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