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at Advocates for Children

151 West 30th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10001

TEL 800.388.2014
FAX 212.807.6872

NYS-TEACHS provides technical assistance to school districts, social service providers, shelters, families, youth and others about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [PDF]. Our services include:

PLEASE NOTE: In some cases, the resources on this page may not be current.

Important changes related to McKinney-Vento were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The changes went into effect October 1, 2016, and include: expanded transportation protections until the end of the school year for temporarily housed students who move into permanent housing, the inclusion of preschool in the definition of "school of origin" (children can stay in their school of origin and receive transportation to that school), and changes to the dispute resolution process which include the provision of all McKinney-Vento related services (for example, continued enrollment and transportation) until a final decision is issued. For more information about ESSA changes to the McKinney-Vento Act, see the State Education Department's Field Memo regarding Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act.

Please continue to check here for updated information about how new laws will impact policies and procedures in New York State, and as always, feel free to contact NYS-TEACHS at 800-388-2014 with any questions you may have.

New and Noteworthy

NEW! 2017 Summer School Memo

This Field Memo from NYSED provides updated information on the responsibility of school districts to provide access to summer school for students in temporary housing, including updated information on transportation.

NEW! Update to Section 100.2(x) of the Commissioner's Regulations

The Commissioner's regulation governing homeless education (section 100.2(x)) has been amended effective July 1, 2017 to conform to the changes in the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the recent changes to N.Y. Education Law Section. The full text of the proposed changes can be found here.

NEW! Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates

On Friday, April 28, 2017, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services issued this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM), 17 OCFS LCM-05: "Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates." The LCM informs social services districts about recent changes to State regulations regarding the provision of child care services funded under the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG) and Title XX of the federal Social Security Act. The changes include: adding families experiencing homelessness as a priority population; adding certain families experiencing homelessness to the category of eligible families when districts have funds available; exempting families experiencing homelessness from contributing to the cost of care; providing an allowable grace period for children to attend child care programs; establishing a differential payment rate for child care services provided to a child experiencing homelessness; and amendments to the provisions for differential payment rates to child care providers who are accredited by a nationally recognized child care organization and/or provide care during nontraditional hours.

NEW! Amended New York Education Law Section 3209, Education of Homeless Children

On April 20, 2017, important changes to the State law regarding students who are homeless, Education Law Section 3209, went into effect. The amendments to Education Law Section 3209 reflect the changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A clean version of Education Law 3209 is available here. A marked-up version of Education Law 3209 highlighting the changes is available here.

NEW! A.G. Schneiderman And State Education Commissioner Elia Advise Schools On Protecting Immigrant Students

In light of recent federal immigration-related actions that have created fear and confusion in New York and across the country, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia reminded school districts on February 27, 2017 of their duty to comply with existing state and federal laws that ensure the rights of immigrant children to attend New York's public schools without fear of reprisal.

NEW! U.S DOE Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youths

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education issued updated Non-Regulatory Guidance for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. This revised Non-Regulatory Guidance for the McKinney-Vento program replaces the July 2016 Guidance and includes new questions that reflect both the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act made by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which take effect on October 1, 2016, and new technical assistance on promising practices for implementing homeless education requirements at the State and local levels.

NEW! NYSED Field Memo: Educational Stability and Transportation Provisions for Students in Foster Care in Title I, Part A as Amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

This Field Memo was jointly issued by NYSED and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to provide important new information about students in foster care. There are changes to Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of December 2015. The memo highlights changes that must be implemented by December 10, 2016, including the requirements that: (1) Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) collaborate with Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) to ensure school stability and transportation for children in foster care, and (2) LEAs must designate a Foster Care Point of Contact to work collaboratively with LDSSs in their communities.

NEW! Housing Questionnaire [Word doc]

This new Housing Questionnaire should be used by all local educational agencies (LEAs), which include school districts, charter schools, and BOCES, as the first page of the enrollment packet for all newly enrolling students, and should also be completed by all students/families who report a change of address. The Housing Questionnaire was updated on November 11, 2016, and it replaces the former Enrollment Form/Residency Questionnaire. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires all LEAs that receive Title I funds and encourages all other LEAs, to use the new Housing Questionnaire, which asks about students' living arrangements, in order to identify students experiencing homelessness in the school district.

New Data on Students Experiencing Homelessness in New York

The number of students identified as homeless across New York State rose 18% from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The 2015-16 school year data on student homelessness is now available here. The spreadsheet includes total counts of students identified as homeless at school districts and charter schools across the state, as well as county-level data by grade level and primary nighttime resident. The data were collected by the New York State Education Department in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS).

NYSED Field Memo: Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

This Field Memo provides critical information about how New York State school districts must implement the changes to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) as a result of the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015. In general, while States will not be required to submit State plans which conform to all of the new ESSA provisions until 2017, ESSA requires that State educational agencies and local educational agencies begin implementing the new McKinney-Vento requirements by October 1, 2016.

NYSED Field Memo: Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training SY2016-2017

This September 2016 Field Memo outlines the requirements for school districts to attend a McKinney-Vento training this school year

Housing Questionnaire and Tip Sheet for Head Start Programs

All Head Start Programs must prioritize children who are homelessness for enrollment. They also must collect data on the number of children enrolled who are homeless. This Tip Sheet has information about how Head Start programs can identify children experiencing homelessness and connect them with Head Start Programs. The Housing Questionnaire should be used by Head Start staff as a part of the enrollment process to identify any child who is homeless. If you would like to share the Tip Sheet electronically, click here for the version with embedded hyperlinks. If you would like to print out the Tip Sheet with the links spelled out, click here.

NYSED Field Memo: Determining McKinney-Vento Eligibility for Students in Direct Placements

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the information in this document is now out of date. Important changes related to McKinney-Vento were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which went into effect October 1, 2016. A revised document will be posted soon.
This October 2015 Field Memo from the New York State Department of Education provides information about whether a student should be considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act in situations where a student has been removed from his/her home because of an allegation of abuse or neglect and the child welfare agency arranges for a relative or family friend to assume temporary custody of the student, rather than place the student in foster care.

A Guide to Understanding the New Rules for School Registration

In July 2015, NYSED Commissioner's Regulations governing enrollment of students in public school were amended to ensure that all students, and in particular unaccompanied youth, have timely access to school. The Regulations require that school districts accept a broader range of documents to establish residency and establish timelines for making residency determinations. The NYSED has produced brochures in multiple languages that districts can provide to parents so that they better understand the enrollment process. The brochure is currently available in: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Karen, Nepali, Russian, and Urdu.

Upcoming Workshops and Trainings

Stay tuned for the Summer and Fall 2017 Workshop and Training schedules.

Upcoming Webinars

Stay tuned for the Fall/Winter 2017 Webinar series.

Webinar Schedule

Recorded Webinars and Materials

More dates, information and registration

Workshops and Training Materials

Training and Workshop Materials