Answer: The core question in this situation is whether the fleas are creating a barrier to the students’ education. It appears that the students are attending school, and the fleas are not creating a health risk or preventing the children from participating fully in school. Based on that understanding, it is advisable to ask what the district would do if a non-McKinney-Vento student were bringing fleas to school. There could be several resolutions.
If for a non-McKinney-Vento student the district would:
- Keep the student home until the student was flea-free: then the district could use McKinney-Vento funds to fumigate the home and eliminate that barrier to attendance. The expense would fit under “(16) The provision of other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.” Also, it should go without saying that the district cannot keep a McKinney-Vento student out of school due to fleas.
- Do nothing: then it probably is not allowable to use McKinney-Vento funds to fumigate the home. The principal and liaison can explore other funding options to assist with fumigation, such as contacting vet offices, faith communities, or civic organizations.
- Use donations, PTA funds, or other funds to pay to fumigate the student’s home: then again, it probably is not allowable to use McKinney-Vento funds to fumigate the home. The district should use the other funds it would use for another student.