I am working with an 18 year old unaccompanied youth. I understand that once a youth turns 18, they gain control over their education record. However, I also was told that if a child is being claimed on a parent’s income tax, the district needs to inform them that the 18 year old student requested to have them removed from the contact list and that the district is still responsible to the parent as well. Is this true?

Answer: FERPA states that parents claiming a student as a dependent on their income may access education records even after the student turns 18.  However, that law does not give parents the right to be listed as a contact and does not give them the right to be...

A question about liability for COVID-19 transmission: If there is an unaccompanied student who needs to test for a GED, who would authorize the student to go to an in-person testing sites, and who would be liable if the student contracted COVID? What if the school district refers students to local community agencies for services– would the district be liable if the students went and then got COVID?

Answer: In terms of authorizing an unaccompanied youth to go to a GED testing site or a community agency, the district should follow whatever the policy is for other activities for unaccompanied youth. Most districts let youth make decisions about enrollment,...

A 17 year old student is living in an apartment with 2 other youth. The housing is adequate, and they have a lease signed by the student’s mother. The mother does not live there, but the property is owned by a family member. The mother and youth share the costs, although the mother is not financially stable. The student currently expresses that she doesn’t need anything. Is she McKinney-Vento eligible?

Answer: There are arguments on both sides, but it appears the student is not eligible. Based on the whole situation, it seems like this is a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. They have a valid lease agreement in the mother’s name, the rent is being...

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