at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
PLEASE NOTE: The guidance memos and resources on this page are the latest versions now available. In some cases, certain information 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 York State Education Department (NYSED) Laws and Guidance
Click the links below to get the text of New York State laws and guidance affecting the educational rights of students in temporary housing situations.
New York State Education Law Section 3209 [Word doc]
This State Education Law addresses the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness and the obligations of school districts to provide services to these students.
This State Education Law addresses school transportation. For more information about transportation for students who are homeless, please click here.
This State Education Law defines the term "person in parental relation" in cases where the biological parent is unavailable. For more information about unaccompanied youth, please click here.
This law addresses parents' power to designate a "person in parental relation" to a child. For more information about unaccompanied youth, please click here.
This State Public Health Law clarifies that students have 14 days (which may be extended to 30 days) during which they may attend school before presenting proof of immunization. Students who are homeless have additional protections with regard to submitting proof of immunization. For more information, please click here.
Regulations and State Plan
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.
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Concerning Homeless Children and Youth Section 100.2(x)
These Regulations of the Commissioner address the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness and the obligations of school districts to provide services to these students.
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Concerning Appeals Involving Homeless Children and Youth
This website of the State Education Department's Office of Counsel includes the Regulations of the Commission that govern appeals concerning the education of homeless children and youth. For more information about the appeal process, please click here.
The McKinney-Vento Act mandates that all State Education Agencies submit a plan for the education of students who are homeless. This is the New York State plan and it provides an overview of how the State Education Department plans to comply with the McKinney-Vento Act.
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.
This September 2016 Field Memo outlines the requirements for school districts to attend a McKinney-Vento training this school year
NYSED Field Memo: Guidance Relating to the Right of Individuals Over Compulsory School Age to Attend High School
This May 2016 memorandum serves to clarify the right of all individuals, regardless of citizenship, who reside in New York State (NYS) and are between the ages of 5 and 21, to a free public high school education in their school district of residence.
This May 2016 Field Memo from the NY State Education Department addresses the rights of students in temporary housing to attend and recieve transportation to summer school. All students who experience homelessness and who are required to attend summer school to advance to the next grade or to graduate on time with their peers must be provided the opportunity to do so. This memo discusses access to summer school, summer school fees, transportation to summer school, and use of Title I set-aside funding for students in temporary housing.
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.
This June 2015 Field Memo from the NY State Education Department addresses the rights of students in temporary housing to attend and recieve transportation to summer school. All students who experience homelessness and who are required to attend summer school to advance to the next grade or to graduate on time with their peers must be provided the opportunity to do so. This memo discusses access to summer school, summer school fees, transportation to summer school, and use of Title I set-aside funding for students in temporary housing.
This June 2015 field memo from the NY State Education Department provides guidance on the rights of students in temporary housing to access public preschool education programs offered by a school district. It also provides guidance to school districts on outreach and identification of preschool age temporarily housed children, how to request funding and seek class-size variance requests for programs that may already be full, and other early childhood education programs and services that may be available.
NYSED Field Memo: Guidance Regarding Out-of-State/Country Children who become Homeless and Tuition Reimbursement
This March 2015 Field Memo from the NY State Education Department clarifies that schools districts cannot get additional state aid for instruction (also referred to as tuition reimbursement) through the STAC 202 process for students experiencing homelessness who were last permanently housed outside of New York State.
This March 2015 guidance memo from the NY State Education Department clarifies how the requirements for vaccinations apply to students in temporary housing.
November 2014 Field Memo: Required Local Educational Agency (LEA) Policy Relating to the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act
In November 2014, the New York State Education Department revised the Sample Local Educational Agency Education of Homeless Children Policy. This sample policy is intended to help school districts and charter schools ensure that their policies are fully in compliance with state and federal laws and address the problems that students in temporary housing face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. School districts and charter schools are encouraged to incorporate, as appropriate, the provisions of the sample policy into existing policy manuals and post the policy to school district or charter school websites to ensure that the rights of students in temporary housing are widely known and fully protected.
The New York State Education Department issued this September 10, 2014 letter to all school districts regarding educational services for recently arrived unaccompanied immigrant children, many of whom may be eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act.
Field Memo: Consolidated Appropriations Act and Expansion of Allowable Use of Title I Part A and Set-aside Funds for Students in Temporary Housing [PDF]
This June 30, 2014 guidance memo from the NY State Education Department is to inform local educational agencies (LEAs) of their new and expanded authority with regard to the use of Title I, Part A funds for services for students in temporary housing. With passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act earlier this year, Title I funds available in the 2014-2015 school year may now be used to cover the cost of the salary for the McKinney-Vento liaison even if that person has no Title I duties; and transporting students in temporary housing to and from their school of origin. Title I funds may not, however, be used to pay for transportation expenses that are reimbursed by the State.
NYSED Homeless Guidance for Permanent Placement / McKinney-Vento Eligible Students and Tuition Reimbursement
This September 26, 2013, Field Memo from the NY State Education Department clarifies when a school district can receive additional state aid for instruction (also sometimes referred to as tuition reimbursement) for the cost of educating a student in temporary housing and how to request such aid.
The NYS Education Department in conjunction with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and the NYS Office of Court Administration issued a Field Memo that explains the responsibilities of child welfare agencies, school districts, and the courts to ensure school stability for students in foster care.
This September 8, 2011 Q and A from the State Education Department provides important information for districts affected by severe weather events. The Q and A addresses issues such as changes in average daily attendance, the use of split sessions, transportation options, requirements under McKinney-Vento, and resources to address health and mental health issues that may arise.
This August 1, 2011 guidance memo from the State Education Department outlines the responsibility of districts to set aside or reserve a portion of their Title I funding for students experiencing homelessness if the district has non-participating Title I schools. It also reminds districts to include the set-aside amount in the online Title I Supplement, offers suggested formulas for determining the set-aside, and describes some ways in which the set-aside funding may be used.
On July 19, 2011, the State Education Department issued a Field Memo in response to several 310 Appeals it had received in which homeless eligibility was being disputed, but the McKinney-Vento liaisons (also known as the LEA liaisons or homeless liaisons) did not comply with all applicable filing requirements. The failure to submit all forms in connection with a 310 Appeal can interfere with the rights of both the LEA (Local Education Agency, Charter School, or BOCES) and the petitioner (parent, guardian, or youth) on whose behalf the appeal is being made. Failure to submit all required forms can also create delays in the resolution of disputes. The Field Memo is meant to assist LEAs and McKinney-Vento liaisons in navigating the appeal process and to ensure compliance with timelines for submission of the required forms.
Allowance for January 2011 Graduating Seniors Attending Schools that Canceled Regents Examinations Due to Inclement Weather
This memorandum describes a graduation allowance for high school seniors who were affected by the closing of their schools during the Regents Examination period (January 25-28, 2011). Accompanying the memorandum is a data collection form that districts are asked to submit to SED if they have students who will receive the allowance.
New Field Memo from the State Education Department re: NYC Charter School Lottery Preference for Homeless Students - October 2010 [PDF]
This field memo is meant to clarify the NYS Field Memo #3-2010: NYC Charter Schools and Community School District Preference for Homeless Students, issued July 2010. It provides answers to commonly asked questions about charter school admissions preferences for students who are homeless throughout New York State.
New Field Memo from the State Education Department re: Required Attendance at this year's McKinney-Vento Workshops - October 2010 [PDF]
During the past few years, this country has experienced an economic downturn unlike anything that has been seen since the Great Depression. Consequently, an increasing number of children and families have been afflicted with the burden of poverty and one of its accompanying problems, homelessness. For example, from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009, school districts in New York saw an increase of 21% in the number of students identified as homeless. This October 2010 Field Memo from the State Education Department explains the importance of attending a McKinney-Vento Workshop in your area. The goal is to ensure that all districts are aware of their responsibility to identify eligible homeless students as well as provide the services to help them succeed in school. Those who would benefit from attending a McKinney-Vento Workshop this year includes Superintendents, LEA liaisons, CSE chairs, registrars, school counselors, principals, and Title I Directors.
McKinney-Vento Field Memo Re: NYC Charter School Lottery Preference for Homeless Students - July 2010 [PDF]
In New York City, charter schools must give preference in their admissions lotteries to students living in the community school district in which the charter school is located. This July 2010 Field Memo from the State Education Department discusses in which community school districts children who are homeless may claim preference in order to participate fully in these lotteries.
Revised Memo from the State Education Department - Elementary and Intermediate-Level Testing Dates for 2010-11 - October 2010 [PDF]
This revised October 2010 Memo from the State Education Department lists Elementary and Intermediate-Level testing dates for the 2010-11 school year.
This revised October 2010 Memo from the State Education Department lists Regents Examination Dates for January, June and August 2011-2013.
This May 2010 Field Memo from the State Education Department discusses strategies districts are encouraged to use to help ensure that children who are homeless can access pre-kindergarten programs.
David Abrams, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Standards, Assessment and Reporting, and Roberto Reyes, Director of Title I School and Community Services, released this April 2010 memo to school administrators regarding the potential barriers confronting homeless students taking state assessments. School administrators, along with state agencies providing services to homeless students, should be well aware of state testing requirements and test schedules and work to make sure that homeless students are not denied access to these examinations in any way.
This Field Memo from the State Education Department clarifies the use of shared housing and proof of residency affidavits in the enrollment of students claiming to be homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento Act and NYS Education Law and regulations.
McKinney-Vento Field Memo Re: Guidance Regarding Key Developments for School District Superintendents - August 2009 [Word doc]
This Field Memo from the State Education Department provides an overview and key developments concerning the McKinney-Vento Act for school district Superintendents.
This Field Memo from the State Education Department clarifies the responsibilities of schools and charter schools regarding summer school for students experiencing homelessness.
This Field Memo from the State Education Department reiterates the importance of training for school district staff regarding McKinney-Vento and includes all of the State-issued guidance.
McKinney-Vento Field Memo Re: Enrollment, Unaccompanied Youth, Transportation - August 2007 [Word doc]
This Field Memo from the State Education Department clarifies the right of temporarily housed students' to immediate enrollment in and transportation to school.
McKinney-Vento Field Memo Re: Guidance Concerning 310 Appeal Process for Homeless Students - January 2006 [Word doc]
This Field Memo from the State Education Department outlines the responsibilities of school districts when a dispute concerning McKinney-Vento arises.
This Field Memo from the State Education Department is a revised version of the McKinney-Vento Field Memo of December 2003. The Q & A addresses new provisions in the Regulations of the Commissioner following the reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act in 2001.
This Field Memo from the State Education Department summarizes the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act that were reauthorized as a part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Enrollment Form - Residency Questionnaire [Word doc]
All LEAs that receive Title I Funds must have students complete and submit a residency questionnaire or enrollment form, which asks about students' living arrangements, in order to identify students experiencing homelessness in the school district.
Every LEA must ensure that students who are experiencing homelessness are immediately enrolled in school. This is a Sample Enrollment Process that school districts may follow for immediately enrolling students experiencing homelessness once they are identified as homeless.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
10/26/16 Training at Eastern Suffolk BOCES
11/17/16 Workshop in Rochester
11/29/16 Workshop in Albany
10/25/16 McKinney-Vento 101 - with ESSA Updates (NYC)
10/27/16 McKinney-Vento 101 - with ESSA Updates (NYS)