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at Advocates for Children

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Frequently Asked Questions: McKinney-Vento Grant Funding

Federal funding is available to help school districts serve students who are homeless through the State Education Department's Homeless Education Program. Funds are delivered in the form of competitive grants to school districts. The program awards competitive, three-year grants to school districts to support the enrollment, attendance, and academic success of homeless children and youth. Grants are needs-based, and take into account the number of children and youth who are homeless and enrolled in preschool, elementary school, and secondary schools within the school district. 42 U.S.C. § 11433 (c).

How can a school district apply for a McKinney-Vento grant?

A school district can apply for a McKinney-Vento grant from the New York State Education Department. The grant application process for years 2016-2019 is now closed. The next grant cycle will run from 2020-2022

What types of services may be provided using grant funds?

The following are some examples of services that may be provided using grant funds:

  • Tutoring
  • Expedited evaluations
  • Professional development to raise awareness and sensitivity to the needs of homeless children and youths
  • Referral services for medical, dental, mental, and other health services;
  • Transportation
  • Early childhood education programs
  • Services to attract, engage, and retain homeless children and youth in school
  • Before- and after-school, mentoring, and summer programs
  • Payment of fees associated with obtaining records
  • Training for parents of homeless children and youths about the rights of, and resources available to their children
  • Coordination activities between schools and agencies providing services to homeless children and youths
  • Violence prevention counseling and other pupil services
  • Activities to address the particular needs of homeless children and youths that may arise from domestic violence
  • Adaptation of space and purchase of supplies for any nonschool facilities to provide services using subgrant funds
  • School supplies
  • Extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school.

42 U.S.C. § 11433(d).

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

Charter schools and BOCES are considered Local Educational Agencies under McKinney-Vento, and all LEAs are eligible for McKinney-Vento grant funding. 42 U.S.C. § 11434a(3); 20 U.S.C. § 7801(30)(A).

Can McKinney-Vento grant funds be used to pay for temporary housing (i.e. a hotel/motel) for a family whose home has recently become uninhabitable or to prevent an eviction?

Generally, McKinney-Vento grant funds should not be used to pay for rent or temporary housing. The family should contact the local department of social services (LDSS) for help securing temporary housing. However, if assistance unavailable from any other source, the district may use McKinney-Vento funds to pay for housing for a limited period of time (e.g. one month's rent).

For more information about approved uses of McKinney-Vento grant funding, please see pages 19-20 of the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program: Non-Regulatory Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education or contact the State Education Department's Homeless Education Program at (518) 473-0295.

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