6:140-AP1 Education of Homeless Children

Actor Action
School Board – Preliminary Step

Upon recommendation of the Superintendent, determine whether to expend transportation funds to provide financial homeless prevention assistance to the parents/guardians (or persons who enroll students) of children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, in accordance with the provisions of 105 ILCS 5/29-5 (amended by P.A. 100-332); 105 ILCS 45/1-17 (added by P.A.100-332).  See duties of the Liaison for Homeless Children below for specific eligibility requirements.

Superintendent Preliminary Steps

Serve as or designate an appropriate staff person, who may also be a coordinator for other federal programs, to serve as a Liaison for Homeless Children.  42 U.S.C. §11432 (g)(1)(J)(ii).

Under the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. §11434a), “homeless children” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. Section 11302(a)(1)).  The term includes: 42 U.S.C. §11434a.

1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of Section 11302(a)(2)(C);

3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

4. Migratory children (Sec. 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless under this subtitle because the children are living in clauses (1) through (3) above.

Under State law, 105 ILCS 45/1-5, “homeless person, child, or youth” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

1. An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime place of abode.

2. An individual who has a primary nighttime place of abode that is:

a. A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);

b. An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

c. A public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Liaison for Homeless Children Duties

Review the information provided at www.isbe.net/homeless/default.htm to become aware of the resources and training materials provided by the Illinois State Board of Education with regard to the education of homeless children.  See

www.2.ed.gov/programs/homeless/legislation.html  for the U.S. Dept. of Education’s information about federal requirements.

Ensure that homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordinated activities with other entities and agencies. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(i).

Ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in District programs. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(ii).

Ensure that homeless families, children and youths receive educational services for which they are eligible and make referrals to health care, mental health, dental, and other appropriate services. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(iii).

Inform parent(s)/guardian(s) of educational and related opportunities available to their child or ward, and provide them with meaningful opportunities to participate in their child or ward’s education. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(iv).

Disseminate public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths in the location where they receive services (such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens).  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(v).

Mediate enrollment disputes to:

a. Ensure the child/youth is immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute;

b. Provide the homeless child/youth’s parent/guardian with a written explanation of the school’s decision regarding school selection or enrollment, including their rights to appeal the decision;

c. Complete the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible; and

d. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.

Fully inform the parent/guardian of a homeless child/youth, and any unaccompanied youth, of all transportation services and assist in accessing transportation services. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(6)(A)(vii). Convene a meeting with the parent/guardian and teacher of the child if the travel time to a homeless child’s school of origin is longer than one hour each way or if the travel time is shorter, but the District wishes to evaluate whether such travel is in the best interest of the child’s development and education.  105 ILCS 45/1-15.

Assist unaccompanied youth in placement/enrollment decisions, consider the youth’s wishes in those decisions, and provide notice to the youth of the right to appeal such decisions. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(B)(iv).

Assist children/youth who do not have immunizations or medical records in obtaining necessary immunizations and/or medical records. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(C)(iii).

If needed, verify children’s homeless status so they may obtain free copies of their birth certificates, in accordance with procedures established by the State Registrar of Vital Records.  410 ILCS 535/25.3, amended by P.A. 100-506, eff. 1-1-18.

Collaborate with State and local social service agencies that provide services to the homeless as well as with community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(5)(A) and (g)(6)(C).

Conduct a hardship review whenever a child and his or her parent/guardian who initially share the housing of another person due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar hardship continue to share the housing; a hardship review should be performed after the passage of 18 months and annually thereafter. 105 ILCS 45/1-25(a-5).

Make a recommendation to the Superintendent regarding whether the Board should authorize financial homeless prevention assistance for families with children who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.  105 ILCS 45/1-17.

In those cases where the parties agree it is in the best interest of the child and District to do so, prepare a written housing plan (Plan) to provide financial assistance in an amount that will allow a child who is homeless or at risk of being homeless to remain permanently in his/her home or obtain new housing.  Financial assistance may include: (1) mortgage or rental assistance that will allow a child to remain permanently in his/her living situation or obtain a new living situation and/or (2) assistance with unpaid bills, loans or other financial debts that result in housing being inadequate.

Before entering into any such Plan, verify that all of the following requirements have been met in order for the District to claim the financial assistance against its State transportation funds:

  1. The District has attempted to provide the financial assistance through its local homeless assistance agency that is part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Acts continuum of care.  105 ILCS 45/1-17(b).
  2. The amount of the financial assistance will not exceed the District’s actual costs for providing transportation for the child.  105 ILCS 5/29-5
  3. The District is not otherwise claiming the transportation costs in another State or federal grant.  105 ILCS 5/29-5
  4. If the assistance is to be provided to a child at risk of becoming homeless, the parent/guardian, person who enrolled the child or unaccompanied minor has provided documented evidence showing that the child’s living situation will, within eight weeks, cease to be fixed, regular and adequate and will result in the child becoming homeless.  Acceptable proof includes, but is not limited to:  foreclosure notice, eviction notice, utility shut-off, or discontinuation notice, or written statement from the parent/guardian, person who enrolled the student or unaccompanied minor.  105 ILCS 45/1-17(d)

Refer the child or his or her parent/guardian to the ombudsperson appointed by the Regional Superintendent whenever a school denies a homeless child enrollment or transportation, and provide the child or his or her parent/guardian with a written statement of the basis for the denial.  105 ILCS 45/1-25(a).

Parent(s)/guardian(s)

Assignment

Choose the child’s attendance center between the following options (105 ILCS 45/1-10 controls because it exceeds the rights granted to parent(s)/guardian(s) in federal law.):

  1. Continuing the child’s education in the school of origin for as long as the child remains homeless or, if the child becomes permanently housed, until the end of the academic year during which the housing is acquired; or
  2. Enrolling the child in any school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.

The term “school of origin” means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled.  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(I) and 105 ILCS 45/1-5.

If the child is attending his/her school of origin, make a good faith effort to provide or arrange for transportation to and from the school or origin, including authorizing relatives, friends or a program for homeless persons to provide the child with transportation.

Building Principal Where Homeless Student Will be Enrolled Enrollment

Shall immediately enroll the homeless child/youth, even if the child/youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, e.g., previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation.  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(C)(i) and 105 ILCS 45/1-20.

Shall immediately contact the school last attended by the child/youth to obtain relevant academic and other records.  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(C)(ii) and 105 ILCS 45/1-20.

If the child/youth needs to obtain immunizations, or immunization or medical records, shall immediately refer the child/youth’s parent/guardian to the Liaison for Homeless Children.  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(C)(iii) and 105 ILCS 45/1-20.

Maintain records for the homeless child/youth that are ordinarily kept for students according to District policy and procedure on student school records. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(D).

Ensure each homeless student is provided services comparable to services offered to other students including the following:  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(4).

  1. Transportation services;
  2. Educational services for which the child/youth meets the 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;
  3. Programs in vocational and technical education
  4. Programs for gifted and talented students; and
  5. School nutrition programs.

Shall require a parent/guardian of a homeless child/youth, if available, to submit contact information. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(H) and 105 ILCS 45/1-20.

Transportation Director and Building Principal Where Homeless Student Will be Enrolled Transportation

Ensure transportation is provided to a homeless child/youth, at the request of the parent/guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the Liaison), to and from the school of origin.  42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(1)(J)(iii); State law, found at 105 ILCS 45/1-15, is superseded by federal law.  The term “school of origin” means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(I).  Transportation shall be arranged as follows: 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(1)(J)(iii).

1. If the homeless child/youth continues to live in the area served by the school district in which the school of origin is located, the student’s transportation to and from the school of origin shall be provided or arranged by the district in which the school of origin is located.

2. If the homeless child/youth’s living arrangements in the area served by the district of origin terminate and the child/youth,  though continuing his or her education in the school of origin, begins living in an area served by another school district, the district of origin and the district in which the homeless child/youth is living shall agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child/youth with transportation to and from the school of origin.  If the local educational agencies are unable to agree upon such method, the responsibility and costs for transportation shall be shared equally.

Superintendent or Designee Dispute If a dispute arises, shall inform the homeless child/youth’s parent(s)/guardian(s) of the availability of an investigator, sources for low-cost or free legal assistance, and other advocacy services in the community.

Each Regional Superintendent appoints an ombudsperson to provide resource information and resolve disputes at schools within his or her jurisdiction relating to the rights of homeless children under this Act. 105 ILCS 45/1-25. The Homeless Family Placement Act governs shelter placement.  310 ILCS 85/1 et seq.

Date Adopted:  September 22, 2010

Date Amended:  January 23, 2018