Answer: Yes. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the right to remain in the school of origin applies across state lines. Whether a student remains in the school of origin depends on the best interest of the student, with a presumption in favor of keeping the student in the school of origin. Best interest considerations include “factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and safety” of the student. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(B)(ii). Issues related to tuition, fiscal responsibility, or related state policies have no place in the best interest determination. As a federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act supersedes any state or local policies that may conflict with the federal requirements.
You’ve said that the school of origin believes it is in the student’s best interest to stay. In addition, there is a presumption in favor of school stability, and the school must give priority to the wishes of the unaccompanied youth. Based on what you have shared, it appears the McKinney-Vento Act would require allowing the student to remain in the school of origin.
In the event that there is a determination that the student cannot remain in the school of origin, the McKinney-Vento Act requires that the student is provided information about the decision in writing, along with information about how to dispute the determination. If the student disputes, the Act requires that the student remain enrolled in the school in which he seeks enrollment, until the dispute reaches a final resolution.