704 KAR 7:090. Homeless Children Education Program.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 156.035, 42 U.S.C. 11432

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 156.035, 156.070

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: In accordance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act Amendments of 1990, the Kentucky Department of Education, when applying to the U.S. Department of Education for participation in programs for homeless children under the Act, shall submit an approvable plan and satisfactory assurances that all requirements of the law set forth in 42 USC Section 11432 shall be met. This administrative regulation implements the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education's KRS 156.029 and 156.035 duties to develop education policy, to implement acts of Congress appropriating and apportioning funds to the state and to provide for the proper implementation of federal law in accordance with the state's current plan. This administrative regulation sets forth criteria regarding residency policies, the provision of a free, appropriate public education to homeless children, provides informal procedures for resolution of disputes regarding educational placement of homeless children, provides grants to local educational agencies for the enrollment, retention and educational success of homeless children and homeless youths, and provides for an annual count of homeless children and homeless youth.

 

      Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Homeless child", "homeless children", "homeless youth", and "homeless student" means a child or children who are between the ages of five (5) and twenty-one (21) inclusive and who are:

      (a) Living with their families in hotels, motels, public or private shelters or other temporary living arrangements due to the lack of a fixed, regular and adequate residence;

      (b) Residing in special care homes such as runaway shelters or spouse abuse centers due to the lack of a fixed, regular and adequate residence;

      (c) Placed by parents under the care of relatives or nonrelatives due to the homeless situation of the family or due to their impoverished condition which may cause the family members to live separately from one another;

      (d) Sleeping in a public or private place not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

      (e) Sick or abandoned children staying in hospitals, who would otherwise be released if they have a place to go;

      (f) Living in campgrounds or similar temporary sites because they lack living accommodations that are fixed, regular and adequate. Those living in campgrounds on a long-term basis in adequate accommodations shall not be considered homeless; or

      (g) Runaway or throwaway youth who have been "thrown out" of their home environment and who are living in a shelter, on the street, or who move from one friend's house to another in a cycle of transiency.

      (2) "Free, appropriate public education" means the educational programs and services that are provided the children of a resident of a state, and that are consistent with state school attendance laws. It includes educational services for which the child meets the eligibility criteria, such as compensatory education programs for the disadvantaged, and educational programs for the handicapped and for students with limited English proficiency; programs in vocational education; programs for the gifted and talented; school meals programs; extended school programs; preschool programs; and programs developed by the family resource and youth services centers.

      (3) "School of origin" shall mean the school that the child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.

 

      Section 2. Criteria for Program Implementation. Homeless children or homeless youth who reside within the boundaries of a local school district shall be provided a free, appropriate public education. Programs for homeless children and youth shall be provided in a timely fashion and shall be ensured by the following actions:

      (1) Each local district shall designate a person in the district to be a homeless child education coordinator and shall submit the name of the person to the Kentucky Department of Education. The coordinator's responsibilities shall be to:

      (a) Obtain all necessary records, including birth certificates and immunization records, of each homeless student identified as living within the boundaries of the school district and, as expeditiously as legally possible, place the student in appropriate programs. In cases where records are not readily available, the coordinator shall contact the school district(s) of last attendance for verbal confirmation of essential information. The coordinator shall assist the homeless student to obtain essential records which are not in existence in order that enrollment shall not be delayed or denied;

      (b) Receive and resolve any requests for resolution of disputes related to the educational placement of homeless students within the district. The coordinator shall provide the necessary information to the Department of Education for final resolution whenever such a request is received and is not resolved;

      (c) Assist the homeless student to obtain the appropriate program and services, including transportation and referrals to medical, dental, mental and other appropriate services;

      (d) Develop procedures to ensure that homeless student records are readily available upon request by a new receiving school district; and

      (e) Develop a liaison with known homeless service providers and state agencies in the community to identify and enroll homeless students living there.

 

      Section 3. Residency. The school district of residence shall be the district in which the homeless student physically resides with his or her parent or legal custodian, unless by reason of marriage, emancipation, or basic physical necessity the child resides elsewhere. The school district of residence shall ensure that:

      (1) The homeless student is enrolled in the school attendance area in which he or she is physically located or that the homeless student's education is continued in the school of origin for the remainder of the academic year, or in any case in which the family becomes homeless between academic years, for the following academic year; or enroll the child or youth in any school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend, whichever is in the best interest of the homeless student.

      (2) In determining the best interests of the child or youth for purposes of making a school assignment under Section 3(1) of this administrative regulation, consideration shall be given to a request made by the parent regarding school selection.

      (3) A homeless student shall not be denied enrollment in the school district of residence due to the absence of a parent or a court-appointed guardian or custodian. Such a homeless student shall be enrolled and provided educational services until such time that the school district can substantiate that the enrollment is contrary to Section 1(2) of this administrative regulation.

      (4) In the absence of a parent, and a court-appointed custodian or guardian, any medical, dental and other health services may be rendered to a homeless student who is a minor of any age when, in the judgment of the school principal or other professional that the risk to the minor's health is of such a nature that treatment should be given without delay and the requirements of consent would result in delay or denial of treatment as stated in KRS 214.185(3)(4).

      (5) Homeless children shall not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained by act of Congress or a state law. Nor shall a child be classified as "homeless" to circumvent state law and administrative regulations which:

      (a) Prohibit the attempted enrollment of nonresident students for the express purposes of obtaining school accommodations and services without the payment of tuition to the nonresident school district or for the purpose of obtaining specific programs not available in the school of residence; or

      (b) Regulate interschool athletic recruiting by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

      (6) School district policy shall not delay or deny the timely provision of educational placement and appropriate services to the homeless student, including policies related to guardianship issues.

 

      Section 4. Resolution of Disputes. Disputes arising between or among the school district of residency; another school district; and the parent, homeless youth, or person in parental relationship to the homeless student regarding the school district in which the child shall attend school or the educational placement of the homeless student shall be resolved through the following procedures:

      (1) The school district's homeless child education coordinator shall inform the representative of the homeless student of the right to an informal hearing with the school district(s) when a dispute arises about the placement of the homeless student. The coordinator shall assist the representative to complete a written request for the hearing which shall be based on a placement that was initiated, or declined to be initiated, by the school district not more than two (2) school weeks prior to the request.

      (2) The informal hearing shall be scheduled within two (2) days of the written request and shall be convenient to the needs of the representative of the homeless student.

      (3) During the hearing, the school district(s) shall discuss any considerations that led to the placement decision which may include the ability of the school district to provide continuity in educational programs, the need of the homeless student for special instructional programs, the amount of time and arrangements required to transport the student to the original school district, the age of the homeless student and the school placement of siblings, and the time remaining until the end of the semester or the end of the school year.

      (4) In cases where an agreement cannot be reached among all involved parties, either party may request the assistance of the state homeless children education coordinator. Upon written request, the coordinator shall meet with the involved parties to discuss available alternatives and seek to resolve the dispute.

      (5) In cases of such a request for the assistance of the state coordinator, the school district of residence shall inform the Kentucky Department of Education and shall provide sufficient information as required.

      (6) The placement and services for the homeless student shall be continued pending the resolution of the dispute by the Department of Education.

 

      Section 5. Annual Count. The Department of Education shall annually conduct a count of all homeless children and youth in the state as follows:

      (1) Survey instruments shall be distributed to local school districts, related social agencies, and appropriate service providers no later than October 1 of each year.

      (2) Local school districts, social agencies, and service providers shall take an unduplicated count of homeless children and youth and shall return the completed forms to the Department of Education according to the time lines provided.

      (3) The Department of Education shall develop procedures as required to ensure that the homeless child count is accurate and verifiable.

 

      Section 6. Local Education Agency Grants for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. The Kentucky Department of Education shall make grants to local education agencies (LEA) when such funds become available through a competitive application process. Grants will be awarded to LEAs based upon the review and rating of their applications.

      (1) Not less than fifty (50) percent of amounts provided under a grant to local districts shall be used to provide primary services of tutoring, remedial education services, or other education services to homeless children or homeless youths.

      (2) Not less than thirty-five (35) nor more than fifty (50) percent of amounts provided to local districts shall be used for related activities including expedited evaluations, professional development for school personnel, referrals for medical, dental, mental and other health services, transportation, before- and after-school care, and school supplies.

      (3) A local district that desires to receive a grant shall submit an application to the Kentucky Department of Education. Each application shall include:

      (a) The number of homeless children and youth enrolled in preschool, elementary and secondary school, the needs of such children and the ability of the district to meet these needs;

      (b) A description of the services and programs for which assistance is sought and the problems sought to be addressed through the provision of such services and programs (i.e., enrollment, retention and educational success);

      (c) An assurance that assistance under the grant shall supplement and not supplant funds used before the award of the grant for purposes of providing services to homeless children and homeless youths;

      (d) A description of policies and procedures that the district shall implement to ensure that activities carried out by the district shall not isolate or stigmatize homeless children and homeless youth;

      (e) A description of coordination with other local and state agencies that serve homeless children and homeless youths; and

      (f) Other criteria the Kentucky Department of Education deems appropriate.

 

      Section 7. The "Special Amendment to School Data Form for Homeless Children/Youth" dated July 1992, and the "Homeless Children and Youth Education Program - Educational and Related Services for Homeless Students Grant Application", dated May, 1993, are hereby adopted and incorporated by reference. These documents may be inspected, copied, and obtained from the Department of Education, 1715 Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (16 Ky.R. 676; Am. 1183; eff. 12-6-89; Am. 17 Ky.R. 2061; eff. 2-7-91; 18 Ky.R. 482; 1011; eff. 10-6-91; 20 Ky.R. 420; 762; eff. 10-7-93.)