Charter Schools

Data and Statistics on Homelessness

Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento

Disaster Response

Dispute Resolution / Appeal Process

Early Childhood Education

  • Are preschoolers eligible for protections under the McKinney-Vento Act?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Yes. Preschoolers are covered under the McKinney-Vento Act and have the right to maintain enrollment and receive transportation to their school of origin. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(I)(i); 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(6)(A)(iii); N.Y. Education Law § 3209(1)(i); N.Y. Education Law § 3209(4).

    In NYC, with Universal Pre-k, any family who applies for pre-k will be offered a seat. If there are no pre-kindergarten classes in the district, every effort should be made to find an appropriate placement for children whose parents request pre-kindergarten classes. See, NYC Chancellor’s Regulations A-780[II] for more information about Universal Pre-K.

  • What are the school selection options for a preschool age student?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Preschool age students can attend the school where the family is currently located, or can attend their school of origin. Under new amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, the definition of school of origin has been expanded, and the school selection options for preschool age children has been clarified. A preschooler can enroll in:

    1. The school that a child attended when permanently housed.
      • If the child was not attending school where the family was last permanently housed, the school of origin would include a public preschool in which the child was eligible to apply, register or enroll before the initial loss of housing.
      • If the child has a sibling attending the school in the district where the family was last permanently housed, then the child would be entitled to attend school in that district as well. The school of origin for the child would be based on the sibling’s last permanent residence.
    2. The school where the child was last enrolled.
    3. The child’s new local preschool.

    N.Y. Education Law § 3209(1)(i).

  • What is the process for having a student evaluated for preschool special education services?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    To have a preschool aged child evaluated for special education services:

    1. The person who would like to initiate the evaluation must make a referral to the school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Chair, requesting an evaluation for the student. 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.4(a).
    2. The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) must make an eligibility determination as well as service and/or placement recommendations within 60 school days of when parent’s consent for the evaluation was given. 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.16(d) and 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.16(e).
    3. The district must implement the CPSE recommendations on the next program start date, which will typically be in July, September or January.
    4. If the program is scheduled to start within less than 30 days from the recommendations, or if the program has already started at the time that the recommendations are finalized, the district must implement the program within 30 school days from a CPSE recommendation, and within 60 days from the date when the parent consented to evaluations. 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 200.16(f).


Enrollment and School Selection

Foster Care

  • Does McKinney-Vento apply to children in out-of-home care?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Sometimes. The McKinney-Vento Act applies to children and youth who live in a wide variety of unstable or inadequate situations, but not to children in foster care. Many children who live in out-of-home care are not actually part of the foster care system, and they may be protected by the McKinney-Vento Act as they change living placements frequently. 42 U.S.C. § 11434a (2)(B)(i).

  • Are children in foster care covered under the McKinney-Vento Act?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    No. After changes to the McKinney-Vento Act in 2016, children in foster care are not considered homeless. Students in foster care are entitled to continued enrollment and transportation to their school of origin, if remaining in that school is in their best interest, or immediate enrollment in the local school under the Fostering Connections Act.

  • What education rights does the Fostering Connections Act provide for children in out-of-home care?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    School-age children in foster care can continue to attend the school they last attended or enroll in the local school district. Under to 18 N.Y.C.R.R. § 430.11(c)(1)(i) and 42 U.S.C. § 675(1)(G), the child welfare agency must have an educational plan for each child in foster care. The plan must address the following:

    • The initial placement of the child into foster care and all subsequent placements need to consider the appropriateness of the child’s existing educational setting and how close (or far) the school is to the child’s foster care placement location.
    • Any time the child welfare agency determines that it is in the best interest of the foster child to continue in the same school in which the child is currently enrolled, the agency must coordinate with local school authorities to ensure that the child remains in such school.
    • When it is not in the best interests of the foster child to continue in the same school in which the child is currently enrolled, the child welfare agency must coordinate with the new local school authorities to make sure that:
      1. the foster child is provided with immediate and appropriate enrollment in
      2. a new school; and
      3. all applicable school records of the child are provided to the new school.
  • Who decides where a student in foster care may attend school?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    The child welfare agency has the responsibility for deciding whether it is in the best interest of a child in foster care to stay in their original school. Each best interest decision should be made on a case-by-case basis. The child welfare agency must request input from the child’s caseworker, the child’s parent(s) (if available and able to provide input), and the child (if developmentally able) in making the decision related to the child’s educational stability plan. In addition, there are other people whose input should be encouraged, including school personnel or education advocates, foster parents, the child’s attorney, and others involved in case planning for the child. If the child changes schools based on a best interest determination, the child welfare agency must coordinate with the appropriate school officials to make sure that there is immediate and appropriate enrollment in school and to help transfer all applicable school records to the new school. These provisions apply at the initial placement of the child into foster care and each time the child is moved to a different foster care placement. 42 U.S.C. § 675(1)(G). Every county Department of Social Services (DSS) also has a point of contact for educational stability of students in foster care, which can be found here.

Free Meals

Higher Education and Postsecondary Opportunities

Immigrant Students


McKinney-Vento Grant Program

McKinney-Vento Liaisons

  • What are the responsibilities of McKinney-Vento or homeless liaisons?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Liaisons need to make sure that:

    • Students in temporary housing are identified by school personnel through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
    • Students in temporary housing are enrolled in and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in school;
    • Families and students in temporary housing have access to and receive educational services for which they are eligible, including services through Head Start programs (including Early Head Start programs), early intervention services, and other preschool programs administerd by the local educational agency;
    • Students and their families in temporary housing get referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health and substance abuse services, housing services, and other appropriate services;
    • Students and their families in temporary housing are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in their children’s education;
    • Public notices (for example, posters and brochures) with information about the educational rights of students in temporary housing is distributed where such students and their families are likely to see them or receive services, such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens;
    • Enrollment disputes are mediated;
    • The parents or guardians of students in temporary housing, and unaccompanied youth, are fully informed about the transportation services available to them, including transportation to the school of origin;
    • School personnel working with children and youth experiencing homelessness receive professional development and other support;
    • Unaccompanied homeless youth are enrolled in school;
    • Unaccompanied homeless youth are informed about their status as independent students for college financial aid and are given assistance to receive financial aid;
    • Unaccompanied homeless youth have opportunities to meet the same State academic achievement standards as other children and youth, and that the school district removes barriers that could prevent students in temporary housing from receiving partial or full credit for the coursework they may have completed at a prior school.

    42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(6)(A).

  • Do Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and charter school also need to designate a McKinney-Vento liaison?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Yes. Charter schools and BOCES are both considered Local Educational Agencies under the McKinney-Vento Act. Therefore, charter schools and BOCES must comply with all McKinney-Vento Act provisions including designating a liaison. 42 U.S.C. § 11434a(3); 20 U.S.C. § 7801(30)(A).

  • Can a McKinney-Vento liaison provide information about a student's homeless designation to others within the district, such as teachers and administrators?Click here to open the FAQ detail for this topic.

    Sometimes. Schools must treat information about a homeless child’s or youth’s living situation as a student education record. This means that this information is protected as private under FERPA. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(G). Sharing student information is allowed when it is for the purpose of data collection or for the school district to meet the student’s educational needs. School districts should also make sure that school personnel are aware of McKinney- Vento’s protections and are trained to respectfully manage this sensitive information.

    See Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Non-Regulatory Guidance, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, U.S. Department of Education, March 2017.

Privacy of Student Records

Special Education

STAC 202 (Designation Form and Tuition Reimbursement)

Summer School

Title I


Unaccompanied Youth