Memo to the Field from Shelia Evans-Tranumn, Associate Commissioner for School Improvement & Community Services-NYC
School Improvement & Community Services-NYC
NYS FIELD MEMO
|Subject:||Required McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training|
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education monitored the New York State Education Department (SED) and noted that a large number of school districts had failed to identify any homeless students: in 2007-08, 37% of all school districts did not identify any students as homeless and two thirds reported having between zero and five homeless students. The U.S. Department of Education went on to add that, “While a report of zero or few homeless students may be accurate, the high percentage of LEAs reporting zero or such low numbers of homeless students needs further review” and that technical assistance was needed for district superintendents and school district attorneys.
To respond to the U.S. Department of Education’s monitoring report and to ensure that all districts are aware of the responsibility of districts to identify homeless students, the New York State Education Department (SED) is offering three Annual McKinney-Vento Workshops. Superintendents, school district attorneys, LEA liaisons, CSE chairs, registrars, school counselors, principals, Title I directors, and teachers are strongly encouraged to attend one of our three planned regional events. Please note that at these Workshops, we have designed a breakout session specifically for school district superintendents and school district attorneys.
The breakout session for Superintendents and School District Attorneys
will focus on identification strategies, especially for hard to identify
“doubled-up” students; dispute resolution process; recent SED statutory
and regulatory developments concerning homeless education; and obligation
of districts to set-aside a portion of their Title I funding for students
who are homeless.
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for this session is pending approval.
We will also offer several other breakout sessions at the Workshops, which will be posted on the NYS-TEACHS website in the near future at www.nysteachs.org. Workshops will include sessions on an introduction to McKinney-Vento and NYS Education laws, Head Start, transportation of students who are homeless, Title I funding, McKinney-Vento sub-grant funding, and other timely topics relating to students experiencing homelessness.
The free, one-day events are planned for:
- October 16, 2009 in Rochester at the Rochester Institute for Technology (RIT) Inn and Conference Center
- October 26, 2009 in New York City at the Brooklyn Marriott; and
- November 2, 2009 in Albany at The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center.
These events are being co-sponsored by SED and the NYS Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS).
Your participation in one of these events is extremely important. In addition, it is crucial that you support the participation of your designated LEA liaison to attend one of these required events, and inform others about this professional development opportunity. You should also note that these events are not just for McKinney-Vento funded programs. All LEAs in the State that receive and administer federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) funds are required to appoint an LEA liaison to ensure compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act.
Finally, please be aware that McKinney-Vento funds or Title I, Part A funds can be used to support travel-related expenses and staff replacement costs for your or your liaison’s attendance at one of these events. Should you have any questions and/or need additional information, please contact Roberto Reyes or Melanie Faby at (518) 473-0295, or NYS-TEACHS at 1-800-388-2014. NYS-TEACHS staff is available Monday-Friday 9a.m.-5p.m. to answer any questions you may have about the events or about any other issue related to the education of children and youth who are homeless. I thank you for your anticipated support and look forward to you/r staff participation at the events.
cc: Johanna Duncan-Poitier