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New York, NY 10001

TEL 800.388.2014
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Frequently Asked Questions: Charter Schools

A charter school is a public school that operates with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. This means that charter school administrators, faculty and staff have more independence in the education of their students. The "charter" that founds each school is a contract describing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, and methods of assessment. If charter schools do not meet the goals listed in their charter, they risk having their charter revoked.

Are charter schools considered school districts?

No, charter schools are not school districts. However, a charter school is a public school by statute, and it is considered to be a Local Educational Agency (LEA) for the purposes of the McKinney-Vento Act. 42 U.S.C. § 11434a(3); 20 U.S.C § 7801(30)(A).

Do students attend charter schools on a tuition-free basis?


Is a charter school required to designate a McKinney-Vento liaison?

Yes. Because charter schools are considered Local Education Agencis (LEAs) under the McKinney-Vento Act, all charter schools must comply with the McKinney-Vento Act, including the requirement to designate a McKinney-Vento liaison. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii).

Is a student in temporary housing entitled to immediate enrollment in a charter school?

Yes, as long as the student meets the eligibility criteria for the charter school and there is space in the school. Students in temporary housing must be enrolled in school, even if they have missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(C)(i)(II).

Who provides transportation to students in temporary housing who attend a charter school?

In most cases, the school district of origin will be responsible for providing transportation for students in temporary housing if the student attended the charter school prior to becoming homeless. N.Y. Education Law § 3209(2)(h).The Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) may be responsible for transporting the student if DSS placed the student in temporary housing and the student's family is eligible for Emergency Assistance for Families (EAF). N.Y. Education Law § 3209(4)(a). If the student's new local school district transports students to and from the charter school, the student also has the option to transfer to the new local school district and receive transportation. For more information, please call the NYS-TEACHS hotline at 800-388-2014 or see the Short Guide to Transportation for Students in Temporary Housing Attending Charter Schools.

Are charter schools required to set aside a portion of their Title I, Part A funding to serve students who are homeless?

Yes. Charter schools are considered Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, all LEAs that receive Title I funding are required to set aside Title I funds for students in temporary housing. 20 U.S.C. §6313 (c)(3)(A)(i)& (c)(3)(C).For more information about Title I, Part A set-asides click here.

Are charter schools eligible to receive McKinney-Vento sub-grant funding?

Yes, charter schools are considered Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and are eligible to receive McKinney-Vento sub-grant funding.

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