Every Child Has the Right to an EducationThe federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ensures that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth. Homeless children and youth must have access to the educational and other services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment based on homelessness alone. Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless. If, due to a loss of housing, a child must live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground, on the street, in abandoned buildings, or doubled-up with relatives or friends, then he/she is eligible to receive services provided under the McKinney-Vento Act. For further information contact the SJCSD McKinney-Vento Liaison, Michael Israel, at (904) 547-7589 or by email at [email protected]
Dispute ProcessThe following process will be utilized should a dispute arise concerning the placement of a student eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act:
- The school immediately admits the homeless student (e.g., school of origin or the school of residency) in the school which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute.
- The school provides a written explanation of its school selection or enrollment decision to the parent or guardian of the student or unaccompanied youth, including his or her right to appeal the decision, both to the LEA and to the FDOE, if the LEA-level resolution is not satisfactory.
- The school refers the child, youth, parent, or guardian to the local homeless liaison.
- The local homeless liaison carries out the dispute resolution process within ten working days after receiving notice of the dispute.
- The local homeless liaison, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, ensures the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.