Our state has a “15-day drop rule” stating a student is withdrawn if the student has not been going to school for 15 consecutive days. Do we have to inform parents of unaccompanied homeless youth of this drop?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act requires LEAs to review and revise policies that act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, and retention of homeless children and youth, including barriers caused by absences. 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(I). Therefore, if students miss...

I have an unaccompanied youth who is not in agreement with his parents about his IEP. He is currently living in a youth shelter until he turns 18. The student is working hard to advocate for himself, and the parents are creating many barriers to his education. Can my student have another adult identified as the guardian and signer of the IEPs? Do his parents maintain the right to sign the IEP?

Answer: IDEA gives rights to the parent, not the student. In a situation like this where the parent’s rights have not been terminated or otherwise legally limited, and the parent is acting as a parent through the special education process, the school must follow the...

An 18-year old residing with relatives would like to enroll in high school. She is eligible for McKinney-Vento Act services. The student speaks little English, and they have not been able to locate school records. The school feels that she would be better served by the adult program for her GED, because they feel she has no chance to graduate by the age of 20. What should we do?

Answer: Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the student has the right to enroll in any school that other students living where she is living would be eligible to attend. 42 USC §§11432(g)(3)(A). If other 18-year olds can enroll in the local high school, this youth also must...

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