Answer: This is a bit tricky, because on the one hand, the technical answer to the question is yes–but in practice, the answer is no. Here’s why: once the student begins attending the transfer school, that school becomes the student’s school of origin. The initial decision about granting the transfer is up to the school district, and that decision can be made on the same basis as it would be made for a non-homeless student. However, once the student starts attending, the school meets the definition of school of origin, as it is now the school in which the child was last enrolled. So the student has the right to remain in that school, as long as it is in his best interest.

In this case, it may not be in the student’s best interest to remain in the transfer school, because he is not attending. The appropriate response would be to hold a best interest meeting, thinking about what interventions might work to improve the student’s attendance, and/or whether there’s another school that could improve his attendance. We know students experiencing homelessness are much more likely to be chronically absent than any other student group. Truancy proceedings are unlikely to help this situation, unless they result in some positive interventions and actions to improve attendance. If the student is just going to end up in court with a fine, then that’s not a solution for the student or the school.

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