Newsletter (March 4, 2024)

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Meeting the Transportation Needs of Students Experiencing Homelessness

The McKinney-Vento Act provides educational protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness, including transportation requirements to provide school stability. The Act also requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to remove barriers to the identification and enrollment of students experiencing homelessness, including transportation barriers.

SchoolHouse Connection has compiled the following considerations, strategies, and examples for school district liaisons, transportation coordinators, and others working to support students experiencing homelessness. We continue to update this living document with additional strategies and examples that emerge from best practice and federal guidance.

  1. Addressing Driver Shortages
  2. Transportation Considerations for Large Urban School Districts
  3. Transportation Considerations for Rural School Districts
  4. Setting Up Transportation at the Start of the School Year and Mid-Year Reviews
  5. Transportation for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness Enrolled in Early Childhood Programs
  6. Funding for Transportation for Students Experiencing Homelessness
  7. Using American Rescue Plan Act Funds for Transportation
  8. Additional Resources

💻 Upcoming Webinar: Addressing Transportation Needs Through Vehicle Purchases with ARP-HCY Funds

Wednesday, March 20 · 3-4 pm Eastern 

In a recent survey conducted by SchoolHouse Connection, liaisons indicated that transportation remains one of the biggest unmet needs for students experiencing homelessness. American Rescue Plan-Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds provide an opportunity to meet this need through more flexible uses, including vehicle purchases. During this webinar, participants will hear from LEAs who have successfully used ARP-HCY funds to purchase district vehicles, including the process of how they navigated internal requirements, and the impact of vehicle purchases on students experiencing homelessness.

💡 ARP-HCY Spotlight: Mt. Adams School District in Washington Innovates to Support Student Transportation Needs

Mt. Adams School District in Washington is a small rural district with 880 total students, a third of whom are identified as experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act. Transportation has emerged as a critical need for the McKinney-Vento program, as district vehicles were often unavailable for supporting the transportation needs of students experiencing homelessness.

Dana Jarnecke, Director of Teaching and Learning, partnered with the district’s business manager to allocate $35,000 of ARP-HCY funds towards purchasing a vehicle. However, due to low inventory, they were unable to find a vehicle within that budget. After further discussions with the business manager and obtaining quotes from three sources, they purchased a $75,000 suburban, with ARP-HCY funds covering $35,000 and the district funding the remainder.

Thanks to Dana’s direct access with the business manager and clear documentation on the allowable uses of funds from the “Dear Colleague Letter,” the business manager recognized both the need and the allowability of this expenditure. The district intends to cover additional costs to maintain the vehicle’s use after ARP-HCY funds are no longer available.

Dana Jarnecke, Director of Teaching and Learning, Mt. Adams School District says:

“This is the best thing that’s happened to our program. We use the vehicle all the time to transport kids and families for McKinney-Vento related purposes. We also use it for home visits to meet with families about attendance and grades. My recommendation for other districts who want to purchase vehicles is to have a direct connection with your business manager.”

    📄 ARP-HCY Sample Forms and Resources 📄

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