Educational Rights of Homeless Families
The School Board recognizes that homelessness alone should not be a sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment. The St. George Municipal School Unit will strive to ensure that homeless students are identified and provided access to the same free and appropriate public education provided to other students in the school system. In accordance with federal and state law and regulations, the school unit will provide homeless students with access to the instructional programming that supports achievement of the content standards of Maine’s system of Learning Results and to other services for which they are eligible. Students shall not be segregated into a separate school or program based on their status as homeless, nor shall they be stigmatized in any way.
If your family lives in any of the following situations:
- In a shelter
- In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
- Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
then your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.
This law provides eligible children with the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required
- for enrollment.
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
- Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference.
- If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs.
If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the St. George MSU Homeless Liaison, Mike Felton (207.372.6312, email@example.com) to find out what services and supports may be available.