ACISD offers services to identified students as per Title I, Part A
provisions. The McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725
) specifies and protects the rights of children and youth in homeless situations. Highlights include:
- Immediate Enrollment- The right to be enrolled immediately in school, without immunization or academic records, and birth certificate, regardless of district policy.
- Choice of Schools- A student experiencing homelessness has two choices in deciding which school to attend:
- The school of origin (the school the student attended when he/she became homeless).
- The school in the zone where the student is currently residing.
- Transportation- Students in highly mobile or homeless situations are entitled to transportation to and from the school of origin, if it is feasible, in the student's best interest, and requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.
- Services- Students experiencing homelessness are entitled to the same programs and services that are available to other children in the District, such as gifted and talented education, special education, vocational education, English Language Learner services, and tutoring. Students are automatically eligible for Title I services and Districts must set aside funds as necessary to provide services.
- Dispute Resolution- If problems arise between the school and parents or between districts, the parent shall be referred to the school's homeless liaison. In the meantime, the student must remain in school and receive transportation.
Students are identified using the definition of homelessness found in the McKinney-Vento Act Sec.725(2); 42 U.S.C. 11435 (2).
The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as —
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and
(B) includes —
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in
emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings…
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
When children can't live safely at home and no appropriate non-custodial parent, relative, or close family friend is willing and able to care for them, the court can give temporary legal possession to CPS. CPS temporarily places these children in foster care. Foster care settings include:
- Foster family homes
- Foster family group homes
- Residential group care facilities
- Facilities overseen by another state agency
Foster care is meant to be temporary until a permanent living arrangement is found. However, it can become permanent usually when a foster parent adopts or accepts permanent managing conservatorship of a child.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO ENROLL A STUDENT IN FOSTER CARE
- Birth Certificate or other proof of identity
- Copy of previous school records
- Proof of immunizations
- Placement Authorization form (2085)
- Copy of child’s school records
***NOTE*** The school district must enroll a child in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) immediately in school regardless of documentation (Texas Family Code, Section 262) (g) A school district shall accept a child for enrollment in a public school without the documentation required by Subsection (a) if the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services has taken possession of the child under Chapter 262, Family Code. The Department of Protective and Regulatory Services shall ensure that the documentation required by Subsection (a) is furnished to the school district not later than the 30th day after the date the child is enrolled in the school.