at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
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.
Students who are homeless are entitled to transportation to school in order to eliminate barriers to their participation in school. Students attending their school of origin always have the right to transportation to school, as long as it is no more than 50 miles one-way from where the student is temporarily residing. Students attending their local school have the right to receive the same transportation services offered to permanently housed students in the district. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) transportation protections are available through the remainder of the school year in which a student finds permanent housing.
In New York, the school district where the student who is homeless attends school is responsible for transportation. The local department of social services, rather than the school district may be responsible for transportation in cases where it has placed the student in temporary housing outside of the school district of attendance and the student is eligible for Emergency Assistance for Families. Click on the links below to learn more about transportation under McKinney-Vento and related state laws and policies.
Find answers to commonly asked questions about transportation for students in temporary housing situations.
Office of Pupil Transportation Flyer: School Transportation Information for Students Living in Shelters [PDF]
Find more information regarding transportation provisions for students living in shelters in New York City
Find more information regarding transportation provisions in McKinney-Vento and strategies for providing transportation.
Get tips on creative transportation solutions for students experiencing homelessness in rural areas.
Find out more about different types of strategies districts employ to provide students who are homeless with transportation to school.
Increasing School Stability for Students Experiencing Homelessness: Overcoming Challenges to Providing Transportation to the School of Origin [PDF]
This monograph reviews the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as relates to transportation to the school of origin, and provides recommendations for implementing the transportation mandate. Recommendations are based on interviews with local homeless education liaisons and pupil transportation directors from eight school districts across the country. Sample district policies and documents are included.
Parents or guardians may use the "Emergency Evaluation Request" form to apply for an exception to OPT's normal rules for pupil transportation.
Busing is available to all students in shelters in New York City from grades K-6. In order to get a bus routed for Students temporarily living at HRA Domestic Violence Shelters, a bus request (formerly known as a variance request) must be submitted. Instructions can be found on the form. You can find a word document version of the form here.
Youth who are temporarily living in Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) shelters and who attend their school of origin in a different district from the shelter must receive free transportation to school. The RHY shelter where the student is residing should provide transportation to school for the student. The shelter will be fully reimbursed for the expense by NYSED. If the RHY shelter is unwilling or unable to provide transportation, the school district of origin must provide transportation and will be eligible for full reimbursement by NYSED. To arrange reimbursement, school districts should submit this form to: Nancy Chacho, NYSED, P.O. Box 7256, Albany, NY 12224. With the completed form, include a cover letter with:
Laws and Guidance
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the information in the attached documents 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. The new law impacts some of the information included here. Please continue to check nysteachs.org 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.
Transportation is discussed in Section (g)(1)(J)(iii).
On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program. This revised Non-Regulatory Guidance for the McKinney-Vento program replaces the July 2004 Guidance and includes new questions that reflect both the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act made by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and new technical assistance on promising practices for implementing homeless education requirements at the State and local levels.
New York State Education Law Section 3209 [Word doc]
Transportation is discussed in Section 3209 (4).
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Administrative Directive—Transportation for Students who are Homeless [PDF]
Under New York State law, in certain circumstances, the local social services is responsible for arranging and paying for transportation to and from school for students experiencing homelessness. Read this Administrative Directive to find out more about when the local department of social services is responsible for a student's transportation.
This State Education Law addresses school transportation generally.
This August 2015 NYSED Field Memo provides information about transportation to and from school for children placed in foster care.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
04/04/17 McKinney-Vento Enhanced Grantee Meeting (Invite Only)
04/05/17 McKinney-Vento Baseline Grantee Meeting (Invite Only)
03/16/17 Early Childhood Education Programs for Children in Temporary Housing (NYS, Outside of NYC)
03/21/17 Trauma-Sensitivity and School Success (All Audiences)
03/22/17 Early Childhood Education Programs for Children in Temporary Housing (NYC)