Answer: The information from the administration department is incorrect as it relates to McKinney-Vento students. In the example you shared, the student absolutely should not have been dropped. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, local educational agencies must “review and revise policies to remove barriers to the education of homeless children and youth, including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences.” 42 U.S.C.§11432(g)(1)(I). “Enrollment” is defined in the law as “attending classes and participating fully in school activities.” 42 U.S.C. §11434A(1). A school district policy that automatically drops McKinney-Vento students after 10 days of non-attendance, with no regard for the causes of the absences, the impact of homelessness, or interventions to support attendance, is a serious violation of the McKinney-Vento Act.
Many states have “10-day drop” laws or policies. Those state laws and policies conflict with federal law. The U.S. Constitution establishes that federal law supersedes state law where the two conflict (Article VI, the “Supremacy Clause”). The district must follow federal law.