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Vision: To ensure that children experiencing homelessness or unaccompanied youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.
Mission: To partner with school districts, schools, and other stakeholders in order to provide educational stability to students experiencing homeless by removing barriers such as enrollment in school, transportation, access to school meals, appropriate education, and extra-curricular activities.
FEDERAL DEFINITION OF A HOMELESS CHILD OR YOUTH
Students who qualify for this program include children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
The term includes—Children and youths who are:
sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled-up”);
living in motels, hotels, RV parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
abandoned in hospitals;
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;
Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
If due to a loss of housing, a child must live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground, on the street, in abandoned buildings, or doubled-up with relatives or friends, then they are eligible to receive services provided under the McKinney-Vento Act.
HOMELESS LIAISONS FOR NEW MEXICO DISTRICTS AND CHARTERS
According to the, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), every school district or state charter school must have a designated homeless liaison, regardless of whether or not the school district or state charter school receives McKinney-Vento funding.
Each local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths, shall ensure that —
homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
homeless children and youths enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, schools of that local educational agency;
homeless families, children, and youths receive educational services for which such families, children, and youths are eligible, including Head Start and Even Start programs and preschool programs administered by the local educational agency, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services;
the parents or guardians of homeless children and youths are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated where such children and youths receive services under this Act, such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens;
enrollment disputes are mediated; and
the parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth, and any unaccompanied youth, is fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, and is assisted in accessing transportation to the school.
Lauren Laws (505) 334-9474 ext. 1076