Addendum 1: State Dispute Resolution Process
New Hampshire State Plan
Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Authorized by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2001 Section 722 (g)
Goal: To ensure New Hampshire children and youth experiencing homelessness have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education and to meet the same challenging state student performance standards as all other children and youth.
State of New Hampshire
Department of Education
Bureau of Integrated Programs
Education of Homeless Children and Youths
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
May 30, 2002
Section 721(1) (2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.
The following is the policy of the Congress:
- Each State educational agency shall ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public pre-school education, as provided to other children and youths.
- In any State that has a compulsory residency requirement as a component of the State's compulsory school attendance laws or other laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youths, the State will review and undertake steps to revise such laws, regulations, practices, or policies to ensure that homeless children and youths are afforded the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths.
- Homelessness alone is not sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment.
- Homeless children and youths should have access to the education and other services that such children and youths need to endure that such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held.
Section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act Definitions.
- Definition of the term 'homeless children and youths'.
For the purpose of this subtitle:
The term homeless children and youths means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1); and includes
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
(ii) children and youths who have primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings and;
(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purpose of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
- The terms 'local education agency' and 'State educational agency' have the meanings given such terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
- The term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of Education.
- The term 'State' means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
- The term 'unaccompanied youth' includes a youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Each State shall submit to the Secretary a plan to provide for the education of homeless children and youths within the State. Such plan shall include the following:
A description of how such children and youths are (or will be given) the opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic achievement standards all students are expected to meet:
New Hampshire Students experiencing homelessness:
- Will remain in their school of origin whenever feasible unless it is against the parent's or youth's wishes, or;
- Will, if requested by parents or youth, be enrolled immediately in the school service area in which they are temporarily residing:
- Will have access to all educational services they qualify for which are ordinarily provided to non-homeless students including pre-school, Title I, Special Education, Head Start, Even Start, Gifted and Talented, before and after school programs, and extra-curricula activities:
- Will participate in the NH State Assessment if they are in attendance in school on the date of the start of the exams:
- Will have access to expedited assessments to identify academic needs and learning strengths:
Target: Fall 2002
- Baseline data on the achievement of students experiencing homelessness in McKinney funded LEAs: spring 2002
- Competitive sub-grants will be awarded to LEAs to facilitate the educational services of homeless students. Specifically, sub-grants will be utilized to identify learning gaps as a result of transiency and to apply strategies to reduce or eliminate those gaps. RFP issued in spring 2002, yearly, thereafter.
A description of the procedures the State Educational agency will use to identify such children and youths in the State and to assess their special needs.
- The SEA will disseminate information to LEAs in the form of posters, flyers, and brochures, etc. to be place in areas where families and youth experiencing homelessness are located or receive services including, but not limited to:
- Other government offices
- Family and juvenile courts
- Food centers/soup kitchens, etc.
- Bus station
- Churches/Community Centers
- Clothing Centers
- Medical facilities (hospitals, clinics, etc.)
- Motels and hotels
- Laundry mats
- Grocery stores
- Town/city offices
- "Help Line"
Target: beginning summer 2002 and ongoing.
- The State Coordinator will provide information and technical assistance in the form of literature and professional development to local liaisons, school personnel, shelter personnel, outreach workers, and other community agencies on the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness.
- The State Coordinator will develop with LEA liaisons methods of identifying children and youth experiencing homelessness.
- Identification though current housing status information gathered during school enrollment process.
- Monitoring numbers of families living at same address.
- Including information about homelessness and educational rights and opportunities on school enrollment forms, newsletters, and school handbooks, etc.
- The State Coordinator will conduct an annual one-day school and shelter count of homeless children and youth.
- Results of the count will be published in a report and disseminated to LEAs, community agencies serving homeless children and youth, and other agencies as appropriate.
- Results of the school count and shelter count will assist in targeting education and information dissemination efforts.
- The State Coordinator will maintain records on requests for technical assistance, barrier tracking, and dispute claims filed.
- The State Department of Education's Web site will post information on education of homeless children and youths and will be updated regularly to reflect changes in legislation, sub-grant information, identification and services provisions, etc.
- The State Coordinator will work collaboratively with other agencies serving homeless children and youth such as the Homeless and Runaway Youth Task Force, NH Coalition to End Homelessness, NH Department of Human Services Homeless and Housing, and other organizations as identified.
- Identified homeless students will have access to expedited assessments to identify academic needs and learning strengths.
- Identified homeless students will have access to all educational services they qualify for which are ordinarily provided to non-homeless students including pre-school (where available), Title I, Special Education, Head Start, Even Start, Gifted and Talented, before and after school programs, and extra-curricula activities.
- Competitive sub-grants will be awarded to LEAs to facilitate the educational services of homeless students. Specifically, sub-grants will be utilized to identify learning gaps as a result of transiency and to apply strategies to reduce or eliminate those gaps.
Target: 2002-2003 school year and ongoing.
A description of procedures for the prompt resolution of disputes regarding the educational placement of homeless children and youths.
New Hampshire RSA 193:12 (IV) provides the definition of a homeless child and exceptions to legal residence requirements for homeless pupils.
Current Status : On May 9, 2002 Senate Bill 321 established a committee to study statutory and administrative requirements regarding the legal residence of homeless children in certain educational and institutional settings, and relative to the appeal of decisions made regarding change of school or assignment.
The duties of the committee are to study existing statutory requirements relevant to the department of education regarding the school assignment of legal residency of homeless children and youth for the purposes of primary and secondary education; study the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L 107-110) and to recommend changes to state law as deemed necessary and appropriate.
The Commissioner of the Department of Education shall submit a report on or before September 1, 2002 which shall include recommendations for proposed legislation necessary for revising existing statutory and administrative provisions relating to legal residency of homeless children set forth in section 3, paragraphs I-II of this act.
Target: This state plan will be updated upon final determination of NH residency rules in fall of 2003.
Parents will be fully informed by local education agencies and the SEA of the enrollment options and educational opportunities available. Schools will provide written explanations to parents regarding disputes over school selection and enrollment and referral to the local liaison for dispute resolution. Pending the determination of the study committee, the following procedures are in place if there is a dispute regarding the educational placement of homeless children and youths:
- The local education agency homeless liaison will provide guidance, technical assistance and mediation support to resolve disputes at the local level.
- If the issue is not resolved, parents of homeless children and/or unaccompanied youth will be provided with written information about the dispute process. The liaison will act on the behalf of unaccompanied youth to resolve disputes.
- The State Coordinator will be called upon to assist in resolving differences which are not resolved at the local level.
- The superintendent shall decide residency issues under this section.
- If more than one school district is involved in a residency dispute or the parents who live apart cannot agree on the residence of a minor child, the respective superintendents shall jointly make a decision, and such determination shall be final.
- In those instances when an agreement cannot be reached in a timely manner, the commissioner of education shall make a determination and such determination shall be final.
- No district shall deny a pupil attendance or implementation of an existing individual education plan.
- A pupil shall remain in attendance in the pupil's school of origin during the pendency of a determination of residency.
Target: 2002-2003 school year.
A description of programs for school personnel (including principals, attendance officers, teachers, enrollment personnel, and pupil services personnel) to heighten awareness of such personnel of the specific needs of runaway and homeless youths.
The following programs/activities will be employed to heighten awareness of school personnel of the unique needs of runaway and homeless youths:
- Flyers, brochures, and posters, etc will be developed and distributed to various locations informing of the rights of runaway and homeless youths to a free and appropriate public education. Those locations include, but are not limited to public schools, related state and community agencies, shelters for runaway and homeless youth, homeless outreach workers, and include areas in which homeless youth may gather or congregate in search of food, shelter, or jobs.
- The State Coordinator will disseminate information and training materials to local education agency and homeless liaisons targeting school personnel (school administrators, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, and office support personnel, etc) via direct mailings, newsletter and relevant journal articles, New Hampshire Department of Education Web site updates, related Web site links, training materials and sessions.
- The State Coordinator will disseminate information and training materials on the education rights and needs of runaway and homeless youth to institutions of higher education with majors in the areas of education, counseling, medical (i.e. physician education and nursing), and related fields.
- Resources and professional development opportunities will be announced via the Web site and Key Messages (NH Department of Education electronic newsletter).
Target: Winter 2002 to spring 2003
A description of procedures that ensure that homeless children and youths who meet the relevant eligibility criteria are able to participate in Federal, State, or local food programs.
- Training and information will be provided to local Education Agency homeless liaisons on school nutrition programs and the eligibility criteria for homeless children and youths.
- The process for accessing school nutrition programs for homeless children and youths will be streamlined at the local school level to ensure prompt access.
- Shelter personnel, homeless outreach workers, school food service personnel, school nurses, teachers and administrators will be provided with information on the eligibility of homeless children and youth for school nutrition programs.
- Posters, flyers and brochures will include information for homeless families and youth to access food programs.
Target: Fall 2002
A description of procedures that ensure that-
(i) homeless children and youths have equal access to the same public school pre-school programs, administered by the State agency, as provided to other children in the State;
(ii) homeless children and youths separated from the public schools are identified and accorded to equal access to appropriate secondary education and support services; and
(iii) homeless children and youths who meet the relevant eligibility criteria are able to participate in Federal, State, or local before-and after-school care programs.
- According to New Hampshire Education statute RSA 189:1-a, Duty to Provide Education. "It shall be the duty of the school board to provide, at district expense, elementary and secondary education to all pupils who reside in the district until such time as the pupil has acquired a high school diploma or has reached age 21, whichever occurs first; provided, that the board may exclude specific pupils for gross misconduct or for neglect or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school, and further provided that this section shall not apply to pupils who have been exempted from school attendance in accordance with RSA 193:5 (Exemption from attendance).
- New Hampshire RSA 193-E:2 Criteria for an Adequate Education. An adequate education shall be provided to all students.
Access to pre-school programs.
- Children and youths experiencing homelessness in New Hampshire will have equal access to public pre-school programs as provided to non-homeless children and youth.
- The State Coordinator will develop and maintain a working relationship with Head Start, Even Start and other pre-school initiatives to assure access for children experiencing homelessness. Information on the availability of pre-school opportunities will be provided to shelters and related service providers and included as part of the outreach activities described under section 722(g)(i)(B) of this plan.
- Local liaisons will maintain a resource list of available pre-school programs and provide this information to parents, youth, local shelters, outreach workers, and community agencies serving homeless families.
- Information will be available to parents and youth at local shelters and other state, local, and community agencies serving homeless families.
Target: 2002-2003 school year and ongoing.
Access for homeless youths and youths separated from public schools.
The State Coordinator will explore collaboration opportunities with state and local service providers providing assistance to out of school youths. Such contacts include, but are not limited to:
- Transitional Living Programs
- Youth Workforce
- Homeless Outreach Workers
- Youth Health Clinics and other service providers
- NH Health and Human Services Homeless and housing
- Aging out (of Foster Care) Coalition
Information on education opportunities and rights to school access will be available to youth at local shelters, other state, local, and community agencies serving homeless youths, and other areas which are identified as locations where youth congregate.
Access to before- and after-school programs.
Children and youths experiencing homelessness in New Hampshire and who meet the eligibility criteria, will have equal access to Federal, State, or local before-and after-school care programs as provided to non-homeless children and youth.
- Local liaisons will maintain a resource list of available local before- and after- school care programs and provide this information to parents, youth, local shelters, outreach workers, and community agencies serving homeless families.
- Information will be available to parents and youth at local shelters, other state and local and community agencies serving homeless families.
Target: 2002-2003 school year and ongoing.
Strategies to address problems identified in the report provided to the Secretary under subsection (f)(3).
Status of 2000 report to USDE
Local Education Agency responses to the 1999-2000 New Hampshire One-Day School Count conducted in October, 1999 identified barriers experienced by homeless children and youths. Major barriers identified from most to least frequently encountered (top 5):
1. Residency requirements
2. Families do not enroll children due to frequent moves (school of origin attendance may not be known as an option for children)
4. School records
5. Immunization and/or lack of medical records
To address these barriers several steps were initiated:
- A technical advisory was developed and endorsed by the New Hampshire Board of Education. This advisory addressed issues regarding residency and attendance at school of origin and was distributed to local education agencies. The advisory calls for the immediate enrollment of children and youth experiencing homelessness, consideration to remain in the school or origin whenever feasible, and provisions for dispute resolution -June 2001.
- The technical advisory was also distributed to chairs of local education agency school boards, local shelters, town welfare offices, city and town managers, soup kitchens and food pantries, and other community agencies-August 2001.
- A task force group of local education agency superintendents was brought together to develop plans to address identified barriers-February 2002.
- School nurses were provided information and guidance on assisting homeless children and youth in accessing required immunizations and medical documentation -summer 2001 and ongoing.
Strategies to address other problems with respect to the education of homeless children and youths, including problems from enrollment delays that are caused by
- immunizations and medical records requirements;
- residency requirements;
- lack of birth certificates, school records, or other documentation
- guardianship issues; or
- uniform or dress code requirements.
The reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Education Act requires immediate enrollment and attendance of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Current efforts have focused on addressing the areas of greatest challenge for homeless students; residency requirements and lack of immunization records or medical records, to inform local education agencies of the educational rights of homeless students and the requirements for local education agencies under the new McKinney-Vento Education Act.
- Information on the requirements for local education agencies concerning residency requirements, school of origin, lack of school records (such as birth certificates and other documentation) has been included in New Hampshire Key Messages (e-mail based monthly newsletter sent to local education agency superintendents and other interested parties) ongoing.
- An article addressing homelessness, rights to a free and appropriate education, and new requirements under the McKinney-Vento Education Act was written and published in the New Hampshire Department of Education Special Education Bureau SIG Newsletter- 2002.
- Contact has been initiated with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Immunization Bureau to coordinate dissemination to school nurses information on immediate enrollment and immunization and medical records. Immunization Bureau is considering developing a time line for school nurses to comply with immunizations and medical information on a timely basis-February 2002 and ongoing.
- School nurses have been notified of the impending changes regarding enrollment and immunization and/or other medical record requirements-April 2002 and ongoing.
- RFPs have been posted encouraging local education agencies to apply for McKinney funding (competitive process). The primary level RFP ($50,000 total available) seeks to fund 2-3 projects. A second level of RFPs have been developed called the "McKinney Mini", these are five (5) implementation grants of $5,000.00 each to assist local education agencies in implementation of the McKinney Homeless Education Act-April 2002.
- School uniforms have not been identified as a concern.
Issues of guardianship were raised in the 2000 report to the USDE. It is the duty of a school district to provide an education for all children who reside in the district until a child has acquired a high school diploma or has reached age 21. New Hampshire RSA 193:12 II (2)(3) addresses residency issues with regards to children of divorced parents and children in the custody of a legal guardian. The approach of local education agencies regarding guardianship, residency, school enrollment of homeless students has not been consistent. Guardianship as it relates to school enrollment for homeless students is one of the areas identified as a potential barrier to homeless children and youths and, as such, will be reviewed and revised as appropriate.
Target: Fall 2002 and ongoing
A demonstration that the State educational agency and local education agencies in the State have developed, and shall review and revise, policies to remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in schools in the state.
The reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Education Act requires immediate enrollment and attendance of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Current efforts have focused on addressing the areas of greatest challenges in New Hampshire for homeless students; residency requirements and lack of immunization records or medical records, to inform local education agencies of the educational rights of homeless students and the requirements for local education agencies under the new McKinney-Vento Education Act. The State education agency and local education agencies will need to review and revise existing policies and activities which affect enrollment and attendance of students experiencing homelessness in New Hampshire . Several items have been previously identified in other sections of this plan. Others are new areas which need to be addressed because they had not been completely resolved prior to the reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Education Act, or due to provisions in the new Act which go into effect July 1, 2002 .
- Action: New Hampshire statute 193:12 Residency is under review, and has been referred to legislative study for compliance under the McKinney-Vento Education Act. In the interim, all students will remain in the school of origin unless parents request otherwise. It is anticipated that amendments to RSA 193:12 Residency will be made in winter 2003.
- There is no state law which requires that a student have past school records when enrolling in a new school. Children or youth must be admitted to school whether or not the homeless parents or students have records immediately available. However, proof of immunizations is required for enrollment. Schools have been able to verify immunization by calling the former school. Under the reauthorized McKinney-Vento Education Act, immediate enrollment is required even if proof of immunization or other health or medical records are not available.
- Action: New Hampshire Department of Education is currently working with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Immunizations to revise requirement of proof of immunization for homeless students. Information has been provided to local education agencies regarding the review and revision of the immunization policy.
- Training of LEA personnel regarding the new requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act will be conducted in fall of 2002 .
- The Local Education Agency Liaison Toolkit will be provided to all LEA Liaisons. Training and technical assistance for LEAs will be ongoing.
Target: 2002-2003 school year.
- The State educational agency and local educational agencies in the State will adopt policies and practices to ensure that homeless children and youths are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless;
Status: Students in New Hampshire are not segregated on the basis of their homelessness.
- Local educational agencies will designate and appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other Federal programs, as a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths, to carry out the duties described in paragraph (6)(A);
Status: Local Education Agencies will appoint a liaison for homeless children and youth. Technical assistance and training for this requirement will be provided to LEAs during the spring and fall 2002.
(A) In General - Each plan adopted under this subsection shall also describe how the State will ensure that local education agencies in the State will comply with the requirements of paragraphs (3) through (7).
- Subgrantees for McKinney funded projects are required to sign assurances of their compliance with the McKinney Act. Site visits, interim report and final report are required components for funding.
- Requirements of collaboration and compliance with McKinney-Vento is included with the LEA Title I application for funds.
- Local education agency compliance will be integrated with on-site review and monitoring of other Federal projects.
- Local Education Agencies will identify liaisons during summer 2002 and fall 2002. LEAs will submit contact information for liaisons to the State Coordinator.
- A protocol to address non-compliance with McKinney-Vento is under consideration with appropriate staff at the NHDOE. A technical assistance advisory was approved by the State Board of Education in 2000. This advisory is under revision to meet requirements under the new McKinney-Vento.
Target: Initiate summer 2002, then ongoing.
(B) Coordination - Such plan shall indicated what technical assistance the State will furnish to local education agencies and how compliance efforts will be coordinated with the local education agency liaisons under paragraph (1)(J)(ii)
- Local Education Agency Liaisons will be provided training on compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act in fall 2002 and as needed thereafter.
- Presentations and professional development will be provided as requested for groups including, but limited to: school nurses, guidance counselors, office personnel, school attendance officers, school administrators, local school boards, colleges and universities, and other state and local agencies serving homeless students and families.
- Local Education Agency Liaisons will be provided with a resource guide, fact sheets, brochures, and posters, etc to assist in community outreach and school district compliance with McKinney-Vento.
- Updated information will be provided to local liaisons via e-mail, direct mail, and Web site as appropriate by the State Coordinator.
- Information will be shared with advocacy groups, and other community agencies and service providers.
Target: 2002-2003 and ongoing
Local Education Agency Requirements
(A) In General - The local education agency serving each child or youth to be assisted under this subtitle shall, according to the child's or youth's best interest -
(i) continue the child's or youth's education in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness
(I) in any case in which a family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; or
- for the remainder of the academic year, if the child or youth becomes permanently housed during an academic year; or
(ii) enroll the child or youth in any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.
- Technical assistance and ongoing contact identified earlier in this plan identified under Section (722)(g)(B) will be provided to local education agencies to assist with compliance.
Target: Fall 2002 and ongoing
- Outreach materials such as posters, flyers, brochures, and fact sheets will be distributed during the spring, summer and fall of 2002 (and then on-going as needed) to local education agencies service providers, and other interested parties as yet to be identified as mentioned earlier in this plan.
- Parent information packs containing rights to education under McKinney-Vento and local resources will be provided at shelters and schools.
Target: Current and ongoing with updated information
(B) Best Interest - In determining the best interest of the child or youth under sub-paragraph (a), the local education agency shall-
(i) to the extent feasible, keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child's or youth's parent or guardian;
(ii) provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal under subparagraph (E), to the homeless child's or youth's parent or guardian, if the local education agency sends such child or youth to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian; and
(iii) in the case of unaccompanied youth, ensure that the homeless liaison designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii) assists in the placement or enrollment decisions under this subparagraph, considers the views of such unaccompanied youth, and provides notice to such youth of the right to appeal under subparagraph (E).
- Reference technical assistance identified under Section 722(g)(2)(B)
- Reference identified activities under Section 722(g)(1)(C)
(i) The school selected in accordance with this paragraph shall immediately enroll the homeless child or youth, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation.
(ii) The enrolling school shall immediately contact the school last attended by the child or youth to obtain relevant academic and other records.
(iii) If the child or youth needs to obtain immunizations, or medical records, the enrolling school shall immediately refer the parent or guardian of the child or youth to the local educational agency liaison designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), who shall assist in obtaining necessary immunizations, or medical records, in accordance with subparagraph (D).
- Technical assistance will be provided as identified under Section 722 (g)(2)(B).
- State Coordinators will work with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Immunization Bureau to work towards aligning state requirements for immunizations and medical records required for school enrollment with McKinney-Vento for start of the 2002-2003 school year.
- Appropriate personnel of the New Hampshire Department of Education will assist in the study of the New Hampshire Residency statute to bring it into compliance with the McKinney-Vento Education Act-September 2002 to spring 2003.
- Meetings, technical assistance, materials and on-going training will be provided to LEAs in New Hampshire .
- Rights of homeless students will be posted in schools, shelters and other related service and community agencies-Fall 2002 and ongoing.
- Information and technical assistance will be provided to school personnel normally involved in the initial enrollment of students to ensure immediate enrollment for students experiencing homelessness. (For example: office and guidance personnel)-Fall 2002 and ongoing.
(D) Records - Any record ordinarily kept by the school, including immunization or medical records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records, and evaluations for special services or programs, regarding each homeless child or youth shall be maintained.-
(i) So that records are available in a timely fashion, when a child or youth enters a new school or school district; and
(ii) In a manner consistent with section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g)
- Parent Pack Folders (NCHE) containing information about educational rights are provided to shelters and other related service agencies and will be provided to LEA liaisons to assist families experiencing homelessness in gathering and keeping school records and other important documents.
- This section is consistent with current New Hampshire educational expectations and practice.
(E) Enrollment Disputes-If a dispute arises of school selection or enrollment in a school-
(i) The child or youth shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute;
(ii) The parent or guardian of the child or youth shall be provided with a written explanation of the school's decision regarding school selection or enrollment, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or youth to appeal the decision;
(iii) The child, youth, parent, or guardian shall be referred to the local educational agency liaison designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as described in paragraph (1)(C) as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute; and
- In the case of unaccompanied youth, the homeless liaison shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.
- Reference Section 722(g)(l)(C). Guidance, training and technical assistance will be provided by the State Coordinator to assist local education agency liaisons to meet compliance under this section.
(F) Placement Choice - The choice regarding placement shall be made regardless of whether the child or youth lives with homeless parents or has been temporarily placed elsewhere.
- Reference Section 722(g) (1) (C). New Hampshire Residency statute 193:12 is under review regarding residency of homeless students and to align residency requirements for students experiencing homeless with the McKinney-Vento Education Act.
- Upon resolution of the residency requirements under New Hampshire statute, training, materials, and information on residency will be disseminated to all LEAs and related service agencies serving homeless families and youth.
Target: Spring 2003
(G) School of Origin Defined-In this paragraph, the term 'school of origin' means the school that the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.
- The definition of 'school of origin' is included in materials, posters, parent pack folders, fact sheets, etc.
(H) Contact Information - Nothing in this subtitle shall prohibit a local educational agency from requiring a parent or guardian of a homeless child to submit contact information.
- This is part of New Hampshire current practice.
(4) Comparable Services - Each homeless child or youth to be assisted under this subtitle shall be provided services comparable to services offered to other students in the school selected under paragraph (3), including the following:
(C) Transportation services.
(D) Educational services for which the child or youth meets eligibility criteria, such as services provided under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or similar State or local programs, educational programs for children with disabilities, and educational programs for students with limited English proficiency.
(E) Programs in vocational and technical education.
(F) Programs for gifted and talented students.
(G) School nutrition programs
- Local Education Liaison training will include requirements for transportation services (to and from the school of origin) when requested, for students experiencing homelessness-initiating fall 2002.
- Local Directors of Transportation will be included in training opportunities and will receive information such as fact sheets which explain the requirement of transportation. Target: 2002-2003 school year.
- Opportunities to develop MOUs (memorandums of understanding) between neighboring local education agencies will be explored in order to facilitate transportation of students experiencing homelessness across borders of local education agencies (providing for equitable cost sharing). Target: 2002-2003
- Information and materials will be provided (as part of responsibilities of local liaisons in cooperation with the State Coordinator) to Title I Project Managers, Special Education Directors, ESOL, Guidance Counselors, Vocational Education Directors, gifted and talented programs etc. to ensure comparable services.
- Students experiencing homelessness will have access to school nutrition programs. Information, training and materials will be provided to shelters, schools including school nutrition personnel, office personnel, school nurses, outreach workers and other community agencies, etc. to ensure access to school nutrition programs. The development of a "school nutrition voucher" will be explored to expedite access to school nutrition programs-initiating summer 2002.
(A) In General-Each local education agency serving homeless children and youths that receives assistance under this subtitle shall coordinate
(i) the provisions of services under this subtitle with local social service agencies and other agencies or programs providing services to homeless children and youths and their families, including services and programs funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5701 et seq.); and
(ii) with other local educational agencies on inter district issues, such as transportation or transfer of school records.
- Support provided to local liaisons will include training and materials to assist local education agencies to provide outreach and develop collaboration with shelters, social service agencies and other programs providing services to children and youths experiencing homelessness.
- Local contact information will be provided to shelters, outreach workers, and other service providers.
- Reference previous sections - explore development of MOU between districts (sharing borders) to assist in timely transportation arrangements.
(B) Housing Assistance - If applicable, each State education agency and local education agency that receives assistance under this subtitle shall coordinate with State and local housing agencies responsible for developing the comprehensive housing affordability strategy described in section 105 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 12705) to minimize educational disruption for children and youths who become homeless.
- Education rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness will be provided to state and local housing agencies as available-ongoing.
- Contact information identifying local education liaisons and the State Coordinator will be provided to New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Homelessness and Housing to facilitate coordination-2002-2003 school year.
- Appropriate agencies dealing with housing will be identified and included in appropriate mailings-ongoing.
- Contact information for State Coordinator is included in the statewide Help Line service-spring 2002.
- Contact information for local education agency liaisons will be included in the statewide Help Line service-fall 2002 and ongoing.
(C) Coordination Purpose - The coordination required under subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall be designed to
i. insure that homeless children and youths have access and reasonable proximity to available education and related support services; and
ii. Raise the awareness of school personnel and service providers of short-term stays in a shelter and other challenges associated with homelessness.
- Reference activities on awareness described in Section 722(g)(1)(c)
- Local education agency liaison will be supported through on-going training and technical assistance provided by the State Coordinator. Refer to description of liaison training activities.
(6) Local Education Liaison
(A) Duties - Each local education agency liaison for homeless children and youths, designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), shall ensure that
(i) homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
(ii) homeless children and youths enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, schools of that local education agency;
(iii) homeless families, children, and youths receive educational services for which such families, children, and youths are eligible, including Head Start and Even Start programs and preschool programs administered by the local education agency, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other services;
(iv) the parents or guardians of homeless children and youths are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
(v) public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated where such children and youths receive services under this Act, such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens;
(vi) enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with paragraph (3)(E); and
(vii) the parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth, and any unaccompanied youth, is fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, as described in paragraph (1)(J)(iii), and is assisted in accessing transportation to the school that is selected under paragraph (3)(A).
- The requirements identified above will be included in liaison training and in information and materials provided as part of outreach activities to homeless families, children, and youths. Such material and information will be available at shelters, schools, soup kitchens, and other locations as identified-target 2002-2003 school year.
(B) Notice - State Coordinators established under subsection (d) (3) and local educational agencies shall inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families of the duties of the local educational agency liaisons.
- Local educational agency liaisons will be identified by fall of 2002 and updated as needed. Contacts and responsibilities under the McKinney-Vento Education Act will be posted on the NH Department of Education Web site and updated as needed-Target: Fall 2002 and ongoing.
- Contact information for local educational agency liaisons will be included in information and materials provided to schools, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families, children, and youth-Target: Fall 2002 and ongoing.
(C) Local and State Coordination-Local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths shall, as part of their duties, coordinate and collaborate with State Coordinators, community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths.
- Training provided to local education agency liaison and on-going technical assistance from the State Coordinator will emphasize collaborative and coordination efforts between the SEA and LEAs and with state agencies, community agencies, shelter personnel, outreach workers and other service providers to be identified serving homeless children and youth.
(7) Review and Revisions
(A) In General - Each State educational agency and local educational agency that receives assistance under this subtitle shall review and revise any policies that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless children and youths in schools that are selected under paragraph (3).
(B) Consideration - In reviewing and revising such policies, consideration shall be given to issues concerning transportation, immunization, residency, birth certificates, school records, other documentation, and guardianship.
(C) Special Attention - Special attention shall be given to ensuring the enrollment and attendance of homeless children and youths who are not currently attending school.
- Reference previous sections of this plan (Sec 722(g)(i)(c) and 722 (g)(i)(G)) which address efforts to review and revise policies (NH Residency and Immunization).
- Local Education Agencies will be provided information on reviewing and revising policies which may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless children and youths-Summer 2002 and ongoing.
- Local Education Liaisons will receive training which includes information concerning the review of existing practices and guidelines for revision of such practices-Fall 2002 and ongoing.
- Outreach efforts to identify homeless children and youths currently not attending school are included in efforts cited in section (722(g)(i)(B) of this plan.
The State Educational Agency Use of Funds Received Under this Program.
1. Use of funds to carry out State-level activities
2. Use of funds to make subgrants to Local Educational Agencies
- As a minimally funded state under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, New Hampshire will receive a minimum of $150,000.00 each year to assist in meeting the educational needs of homeless children and youths.
- Funds are used at the State level to fund the position and activities the State Coordinator. Responsibilities of the State Coordinator are described in section 721(f). Data collection, technical assistance, training and dissemination of information will be conducted as necessary to fulfill the duties of the State Coordinator.
- Not less than 50% of federal funds received by the State or $75,000.00 will be distributed in the form of competitive subgrants to local educational agencies for the purposes of carrying out Section 723.
1. Subgrants will be awarded on the basis of the need of the applying local educational agency and the quality of the applications submitted.
2. Subgrants will be awarded in terms not to exceed 3 years.
3. Local educational agency applicants must demonstrate in their application that a minimum of 25% of the projected cost of the proposal is supported by Title I Part A funds or in-kind contributions.
4. Technical assistance to LEA's will be provided by the State Coordinator during the application process. An interim report and site visit are required for monitoring and compliance. A final report is required at the conclusion of the project: current and ongoing.
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