Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program State Plan:
- Informs school districts of their responsibility to homeless children and youth;
- Provides policies that bring the state into compliance with federal law; and
- Outlines assurances to be sure homeless students have equal access to a quality education.
The goal of the program is to ensure homeless
children and youth are provided with a free and appropriate public
education on an equal basis with all other children in the state.
Program objectives and activities are intended to remove and/or ease the
barriers to enrollment and educational success for homeless children.
Some key components of the State Plan, as quoted from the McKinney-Vento Act are:
- Each state educational agency shall ensure that each child of a
homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same
free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool
education, as provided to other children and youths.
- In any state that has a compulsory residency requirement as a
component of the state's compulsory school attendance laws or other
laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to
the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children
and youths, the state will review and undertake steps to revise such
laws, regulations, practices, or policies to ensure that homeless
children and youths are afforded the same free, appropriate public
education as provided to other children and youths.
- Homelessness alone is not sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment.
- Homeless children and youths should have access to the education
and other services that such children and youths need to ensure that
such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the same
challenging state student academic achievement standards to which all
students are held.
Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program – State Plan 2013 (PDF)
In accordance with the procedure developed by
the Pennsylvania Department of Education and as stated in the Education
for Homeless Youth Basic Education Circular (BEC) Section IX, a regional
or site coordinator with whom a complaint or appeal is filed must
notify the state coordinator immediately. Upon being notified, the state
coordinator will review the complaint or appeal and assign it to a
regional or site coordinator for disposition. The coordinator to whom
the appeal is assigned may contact, interview and accept documentation
from any individual or LEA involved, and shall issue a written
disposition within 20 business days after the complaint or appeal has
been assigned. The disposition shall be provided to the LEA and the
parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth involved. The child or youth
shall continue to be enrolled in the school in which he or she is
seeking enrollment until the complaint or appeal is resolved or until a
disposition from a McKinney-Vento coordinator is received.