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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON

SPECIAL EDUCATION AND HOMELESSNESS


February 2008
Introu!t"on
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Office of
Elementary and Secondary Education issue this Question and Answer (Q & A) document
to provide State and local educational officials early intervention services providers and
homeless assistance coordinators with information to assist with implementation of the
re!uirements of the "ndividuals with #isabilities Education Act ("#EA) and its
implementin$ re$ulations and the %c&inney'(ento )omeless Assistance Act
(%c&inney'(ento Act)* This Q & A document represents the #epartment+s current
thin,in$ on these topics* "t does not create or confer any ri$hts for or on any person*
This Q & A document does not impose any re!uirements beyond those re!uired under
applicable law and re$ulations*
"f you are interested in commentin$ on this Q & A document please email us your
comment at OSERS$uidancecomments-ed*$ov (put the word )omelessness in the
sub.ect line of your e'mail) or write to us at the followin$ address/
0*S* #epartment of Education
112 34
th
Street S*5* Room 1344
6otomac 7enter 6la8a
5ashin$ton #7 42424'49:3
Specifically this Q & A document provides information to special educators early
intervention providers and homeless assistance coordinators about some of the
re!uirements of the "#EA and the %c&inney'(ento Act that apply in servin$ homeless
children with disabilities* The "#EA assists States in meetin$ the early intervention
needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and the special education
and related services needs of children with disabilities* The "#EA ri$hts and protections
applicable to children with disabilities and their parents under 6art ; of "#EA (<rants to
States pro$ram) and the ri$hts and protections applicable to infants and toddlers with
disabilities and their families under 6art 7 of "#EA ("nfants and Toddlers 5ith
#isabilities pro$ram) apply to homeless children with disabilities* 6art ; of "#EA (6art
;) provides assistance to States and throu$h them to local school districts to assist in
providin$ a free appropriate public education (=A6E
3
) to children with disabilities
3
The term free appropriate public education is used in "#EA the %c&inney'(ento Act and section 12: of
the Rehabilitation Act of 3>?@ as amended* This term however has a different meanin$ under each
statute* Therefore the acronym =A6E as used in this document only refers to =A6E under "#EA*
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
between the a$es of @ and 43 inclusive* =A6E under 6art ; of "#EA is a statutory term
that has a specific meanin$ and includes amon$ other elements the provision of special
education and related services at no cost to parents under public supervision and
direction in an appropriate preschool elementary school or secondary school pro$ram in
the State involved in conformity with an individuali8ed education pro$ram ("E6)* States
and their public a$encies also have an affirmative obli$ation to identify locate and
evaluate all children residin$ in the State who are suspected of havin$ disabilities and
who are in need of special education and related services re$ardless of the severity of
their disability* This obli$ation ,nown as Achild findB is specifically applicable to
homeless children* Relevant re!uirements re$ardin$ =A6E and child find under 6art ; as
they particularly apply to homeless children with disabilities are described in more detail
throu$hout this Q & A document*
6art 7 of "#EA (6art 7) authori8es assistance to States in developin$ and implementin$ a
coordinated Statewide early intervention system to meet the early intervention needs of
infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families* Some relevant re!uirements of
6art 7 relatin$ to child find and the provision of early intervention services as they apply
in particular to homeless infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families also are
described further in this Q & A document*
"n addition two =ederal civil ri$hts laws section 12: of the Rehabilitation Act of 3>?@
(Section 12:) and title "" of the Americans with #isabilities Act (Title "") protect
students with disabilities* Section 12: ensures that educational institutions receivin$
=ederal financial assistance from the #epartment of Education (#epartment) do not
discriminate on the basis of disability a$ainst A!ualifiedB students with disabilities*
<enerally any student with a disability who is of mandatory school a$e is A!ualifiedB
re$ardless of whether or not the student is homeless* Section 12: re!uires public
elementary and secondary school systems to provide a free appropriate public education
to each !ualified student with a disability re$ardless of the nature or severity of the
disability* Title "" also prohibits disability discrimination by public entities includin$
public schools and similarly applies to students with disabilities who are homeless as
well as those who are not homeless* =or more information on the re!uirements of
Section 12: and Title "" please consult the Section 12: =inal Re$ulations at @: 7=R 6art
32: at http/CCwww*access*$po*$ovCnaraCcfrCwaisidDE2?C@:cfr32:E2?*html and the Title ""
re$ulations at http/CCwww*access*$po*$ovCnaraCcfrCwaisidDE2?C4Fcfr@1E2?*html*
The %c&inney'(ento Act provides assistance to States to help them ensure educational
ri$hts and protections for children and youth eDperiencin$ homelessness* This pro$ram
helps State educational a$encies (SEAs) ensure that homeless children includin$
preschoolers and youths have e!ual access to a free appropriate public education
includin$ a public preschool education as provided to other children and youth*
7onsistent with the %c&inney'(ento Act children eDperiencin$ homelessness are to be
provided services comparable to those received by other students in the school they
attend includin$ transportation services and education pro$rams for which such students
are otherwise eli$ible such as services provided under Title " of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act of 3>91 as amended by the Go 7hild Heft ;ehind Act of 4223
6a$e 4
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
or similar State or local pro$rams and pro$rams for students with disabilities* These
obli$ations are described in more detail in this document* =or more information on the
re!uirements of the %c&inney'(ento Act please see the Gon're$ulatory $uidance on the
Education for )omeless Iouth 6ro$ram (422:) found at/
http/CCwww*ed*$ovCpro$ramsChomelessCle$islation*html
The !uestions and answers included in this document are based on !uestions submitted to
the #epartment by the Gational )omeless Assistance Haw 7enter* =or clarity some
additional !uestions and answers have been added to address issues that may arise in
connection with providin$ special education and related services to homeless children
with disabilities and affordin$ the ri$hts and protections under 6art ; to those children
and their parents* The information contained in this document is not intended to reflect
all re!uirements of 6arts ; and 7 of "#EA Section 12: and Title "" and the %c&inney'
(ento Act that are applicable to homeless children with disabilities and their families* "n
some cases the !uestions and correspondin$ answers presented in this Q & A document
re!uired interpretation of "#EA Section 12: and Title "" and their implementin$
re$ulations and the answers are not simply a restatement of the statutory or re$ulatory
re!uirements* The responses presented in this document $enerally are informal $uidance
representin$ the interpretation of the #epartment of the applicable statutory or re$ulatory
re!uirements in the conteDt of the specific facts presented and are not le$ally bindin$*
This document is not intended to be a replacement for careful study of "#EA and its
implementin$ re$ulations* The statute re$ulations and other important documents
includin$ Qs and As released in January 422? related to "#EA and the re$ulations are
found at http/CCidea*ed*$ov* This website includes the final 6art ; re$ulations which
became effective on October 3@ 4229 and the Gotice of 6roposed Rulema,in$ for 6art 7
published at ?4 =R 49:19 (%ay > 422?)* A copy of the current re$ulations for 6art 7 of
"#EA can be found at/ http/CCwww*access*$po*$ovCnaraCcfrCwaisidDE2?C@:cfr@2@E2?*html
6a$e @
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
A# $enera% Re&u"re'ent( Re%at"n) to t*e
Eu!at"on o+ Ho'e%e(( C*"%ren ,"t* D"(ab"%"t"e(
Aut*or"ty/ %c&inney'(ento )omeless Assistance Act as amended :4
0*S*7* 33:@3 et se!* and the "ndividuals with #isabilities
Education Act 6art ; 42 0*S*7* 3:23 3:33'3:3> and @: 7=R
6art @22 Section 12: of the Rehabilitation Act of 3>?@ as
amended 4> 0*S*7* ?>: and @: 7=R 6art 32: and Title "" of the
Americans 5ith #isabilities Act :4 0*S*7* 343@3 et se!* and 4F
7=R 6art @1*
Que(t"on A-./ )ow does the %c&inney'(ento Act help to remove educational
barriers for homeless childrenK
An(,er/ The %c&inney'(ento Act as amended and reauthori8ed by the Go
7hild Heft ;ehind Act of 4223 (G7H;) is the primary =ederal law
addressin$ the educational needs of homeless children and youth*
"ts ma.or provisions include the followin$/
De+"n"t"on o+ Ho'e%e((ne((# The %c&inney'(ento Act
covers all children and youth who meet its definition of
homelessness* This means those children who Alac, a fiDed
re$ular and ade!uate ni$httime residence*B :4 0*S*7*
33:@:a(4)* The eDamples listed in the law include children and
youth who/
' share the housin$ of other persons due to loss of housin$
economic hardship or a similar reasonL
' live in motels hotels trailer par,s or campin$ $rounds due
to the lac, of alternative ade!uate accommodationsL
' live in emer$ency or transitional sheltersL
' are abandoned in hospitalsL
' are awaitin$ foster care placementL
' have a primary ni$httime residence that is a public or
private place not desi$ned for or ordinarily used as a
re$ular sleepin$ accommodation for human bein$sL
' live in cars par,s public spaces abandoned buildin$s
substandard housin$ bus or train stations or similar
settin$sL
' are mi$ratory children who otherwise fit the definition of
homelessness*
I''e"ate Enro%%'ent# 7hildren eDperiencin$ homelessness
must be able to enroll in school immediately even if they are
unable to produce records normally re!uired for enrollment
such as previous academic records medical records proof of
6a$e :
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
residency or other documentation* "f the child needs to obtain
immuni8ations or medical or immuni8ation records the
enrollin$ school must immediately refer the parent or $uardian
of the child or youth to the desi$nated local educational a$ency
(HEA) liaison who must assist in obtainin$ necessary
immuni8ations or immuni8ation or medical records*
Co'0arab%e Ser1"!e(# )omeless children must have services
available that are comparable to those offered to non'homeless
children* )omeless children with disabilities must have e!ual
access to =A6E under 6art ; as would be provided to other
children with disabilities* Their ability to participate in special
education pro$rams cannot be hindered by homelessness or
such related factors as fre!uent school transfers*
Su00%e'enta% Ser1"!e(# School districts may receive
%c&inney'(ento sub$rants that can be used to provide
supplemental services such as tutorin$ eDpedited evaluations
for special education or other services school supplies or
referrals for health services*
4
See :4 0*S*7* 33:@@(d)*
Que(t"on A-2/ 5hat ri$hts are afforded to homeless children with disabilities
under 6art ;K
An(,er/ 6art ; re!uires that all eli$ible children with disabilities have
available to them =A6E includin$ special education and related
services desi$ned to meet the particular needs of each child with a
disability* 7hildren with disabilities who are homeless have the
same ri$ht to =A6E under 6art ; as non'homeless children with
disabilities* )omeless children with disabilities and their parents
are sub.ect to the same "#EA protections and re!uirements as
children with disabilities and their parents who are not homeless*
These re!uirements include the parental consent evaluation and
eli$ibility re!uirements in @: 7=R MM@22*@22 throu$h @22*@33 the
"E6 re!uirements in @: 7=R MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4: the least
restrictive environment and placement re!uirements in @: 7=R
MM@22*33: throu$h @22*33? and the procedural safe$uards and due
process ri$hts includin$ the discipline procedures in @: 7=R
MM@22*122 throu$h @22*1@9* <enerally students eli$ible for
4
Supplemental services provided under %c&inney'(ento are not necessarily the same as supplemental
educational services provided under section 3339 of Title " of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
as amended by G7H;* Supplemental services under G7H; can be provided to children of low'income
families who attend a Title " school that has been desi$nated by the State to be in need of improvement for
more than one year* A homeless child attendin$ such a school may be eli$ible to receive supplemental
services under both %c&inney'(ento and G7H;*
6a$e 1
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
services under 6art ; also are covered by Section 12: and Title ""*
One way to meet the free appropriate public education
re!uirements of Section 12: and Title "" is by implementin$ an "E6
developed in accordance with 6art ; of "#EA* @: 7=R M32:*@@(b)
(4)*
6a$e 9
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
2# C*"% F"n an Ho'e%e(( Stuent(
Aut*or"ty/ The re!uirements for child find under 6art ; are found in the 6art
; re$ulations at @: 7=R M@22*333* The re!uirements for location
of children and notification under Section 12: are found in the
Section 12: re$ulations at @: 7=R M32:*@4*
Que(t"on 2-./ 5hat are 6art ;+s child find re!uirementsK )ow do these
re!uirements apply to children and youth who are homelessK
An(,er/ 0nder @: 7=R M@22*333(a)(3)(i) all children with disabilities
residin$ in the State includin$ children with disabilities who are
homeless or are wards of the State and children with disabilities
attendin$ private schools who are in need of special education and
related services re$ardless of the severity of their disability must
be identified located and evaluated* This re!uirement ,nown as
child find includes activities to determine whether a child is a
child suspected of havin$ a disability who should be referred for
evaluation to determine eli$ibility for special education and related
services under 6art ;* Referrals of homeless children can be made
from any source that suspects a child may be eli$ible for special
education and related services* Therefore persons such as
employees of the SEA HEA or other public a$encies responsible
for the education or care of the child may identify homeless
children suspected of havin$ disabilities who may be in need of
special education and related services*
)i$hly mobile homeless children often fail to remain in one school
lon$ enou$h to be appropriately dia$nosed with a disability* As a
result school and district administrators consistent with applicable
child find re!uirements should consider that homeless children
may be at $reater ris, of havin$ undia$nosed disabilities* 6ublic
a$encies should coordinate with staff of emer$ency shelters
transitional shelters independent livin$ pro$rams street outreach
pro$rams and other advocacy or$ani8ations to assist in identifyin$
the warnin$ si$ns of a disability as !uic,ly as possible so that
homeless children suspected of havin$ disabilities can be
evaluated and if found eli$ible receive re!uired special education
and related services*
Que(t"on 2-2/ 5hat ri$hts do parents of homeless children have durin$
child findK
An(,er/ Once a public a$ency or school district identifies any child throu$h
the 6art ; child find process as a child suspected of havin$ a
6a$e ?
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
disability the procedural safe$uards in @: 7=R MM@22*122 throu$h
@22*1@9 become applicable* These procedural safe$uards which
are fully applicable to parents of homeless children include
amon$ other protections written prior notice of the school
district+s proposed action to evaluate the child for possible
eli$ibility for services under 6art ; which must include an
eDplanation of the reasons for the proposed action* @: 7=R
M@22*12@(a) and (b)(3)'(4)* This prior written notice must reflect
all of the content re!uirements in @: 7=R M@22*12@(b)*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*12@(c)(3) this prior written notice must be
written in lan$ua$e understandable to the $eneral public and
provided in the parent+s native lan$ua$e or other mode of
communication used by the parent unless it is clearly not feasible
to do so* "f the lan$ua$e or other mode of communication of the
parent is not a written lan$ua$e @: 7=R M@22*12@(c)(4)(i)'(ii)
re!uires the public a$ency to ta,e steps to ensure that the notice is
translated orally or by other means for the parent in his or her
native lan$ua$e or other mode of communication and that the
parent understands the content of the notice* "n addition to the
prior written notice a copy of the procedural safe$uards available
to the parents of a child with a disability under 6art ; which must
contain a full eDplanation of those safe$uards also must be $iven
to the parents upon initial referral or parent re!uest for evaluation*
@: 7=R M@22*12:(a)(3) and (c)* The notice of procedural
safe$uards also must be provided in lan$ua$e understandable to
the $eneral public and in the parent+s native lan$ua$e or other
mode of communication unless it clearly is not feasible to do so*
"f the parent+s native lan$ua$e or other mode of communication is
not a written lan$ua$e the same re!uirements for oral translation
or other communication to the parent which apply to the prior
written notice in M@22*12@(c)(4) are applicable to the procedural
safe$uards notice* @: 7=R M@22*12:(d)*
A parent who disa$rees with the public a$ency or school district on
matters arisin$ under 6art ; includin$ matters arisin$ prior to the
filin$ of a due process complaint must have the opportunity to
resolve the dispute throu$h the mediation process described at @:
7=R M@22*129* A parent who disa$rees with a public a$ency+s
proposal or refusal to identify or evaluate their child as a child with
a disability under 6art ; may file a due process complaint notice to
re!uest a due process hearin$ in accordance with procedures in @:
7=R MM@22*12? throu$h @22*13F* "f a child is an unaccompanied
homeless youth the prior written notice and procedural safe$uards
notice would be provided to the surro$ate parent appointed to
represent the child in special education matters* Similarly the
6a$e F
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
surro$ate parent could utili8e mediation or eDercise due process
ri$hts on behalf of the child* See Section = of this Q & A
document re$ardin$ 0naccompanied )omeless Iouth and
Surro$ate 6arents*
Que(t"on 2-3/ 5hich children are covered by 6art ; of "#EAK
An(,er/ A child is considered to be a Achild with a disabilityB under 6art ;
of "#EA if the child is evaluated in accordance with @: 7=R
MM@22*@2: throu$h @22*@33 as havin$ mental retardation a hearin$
impairment (includin$ deafness) a speech or lan$ua$e impairment
a visual impairment (includin$ blindness) a serious emotional
disturbance (referred to as Nemotional disturbance+) an orthopedic
impairment autism traumatic brain in.ury an other health
impairment a specific learnin$ disability deaf blindness or
multiple disabilities and who by reason of that impairment needs
special education and related services* @: 7=R M@22*F(a)(3)*
7hildren with disabilities under 6art ; also may include children
a$ed three throu$h nine eDperiencin$ developmental delays* @:
7=R M@22*F(b)*
Que(t"on 2-4/ #oes Section 12:+s re!uirement that recipients of =ederal financial
assistance operatin$ public elementary or secondary education
pro$rams identify and locate !ualified individuals with disabilities
apply to children and youth who are homelessK
An(,er/ Ies Section 12: re!uires that recipients of =ederal financial
assistance operatin$ public elementary or secondary education
pro$rams or activities must identify annually and locate every
!ualified individual with a disability residin$ in the recipient+s
.urisdiction who is not receivin$ a public education* @: 7=R
M32:*@4(a)* The #epartment interprets this re!uirement as
applyin$ to an individual with a disability residin$ in the
recipient+s .urisdiction re$ardless of whether the student has an
official place of residence or is homeless* Section 12: also
re!uires recipients to provide annual notice to parents re$ardin$
the recipient+s Section 12: obli$ations* See @: 7=R M 32:*@4(b)*
6a$e >
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Que(t"on 2-5/ 5hich individuals are considered disabled under Section 12: and
Title ""K
An(,er/ 0nder Section 12: and Title "" Aindividual with a disabilityB
means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more ma.or life activities has a record
of such an impairment or is re$arded as havin$ such an
impairment*
6a$e 32
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
C# E1a%uat"on(
Aut*or"ty/ The 6art ; re!uirements for consent and evaluations are found at
@: 7=R MM@22*@22 throu$h @22*@33* The "E6 re!uirements for
children who transfer from one public a$ency to another public
a$ency within the same school year are found at @: 7=R
M@22*@4@(e) (f) and ($)* The Section 12: evaluation and
placement re!uirements are found at @: 7=R M32:*@1*
Que(t"on C-./ 5ho may initiate a re!uest for an evaluation under 6art ;K
An(,er/ 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@23(b) a parent or a public a$ency may
initiate a re!uest for an evaluation sub.ect to the parent consent
re!uirements described below to determine if a child is a child
with a disability under 6art ;* As defined in @: 7=R M@22*@2
parent means a biolo$ical or adoptive parent of a childL a foster
parent unless State law re$ulations or contractual obli$ations
with a State or local entity prohibit a foster parent from actin$ as a
parentL a $uardian $enerally authori8ed to act as the childOs parent
or authori8ed to ma,e educational decisions for the child (but not
the State if the child is a ward of the State)L an individual actin$ in
the place of a biolo$ical or adoptive parent (includin$ a
$randparent stepparent or other relative) with whom the child
lives or an individual who is le$ally responsible for the childOs
welfareL or a surro$ate parent who has been appointed in
accordance with @: 7=R M@22*13> or section 9@>(a)(1) of "#EA*
See Section = of this Q & A document re$ardin$ 0naccompanied
)omeless Iouth and Surro$ate 6arents*
Que(t"on C-2/ )ow do the parental consent re!uirements for initial evaluations
and reevaluations under 6art ; apply to homeless children with
disabilitiesK
An(,er/ The 6art ; parental consent re!uirements for evaluations and
reevaluations are fully applicable to parents of homeless children*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*@22(a)(3)(i) a public a$ency proposin$ to
conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child !ualifies as a
child with a disability under @: 7=R M@22*F must after providin$
notice consistent with @: 7=R MM@22*12@ and @22*12: obtain
informed consent from the parent of the child consistent with @:
7=R M@22*> before conductin$ the evaluation* 6arental consent
for the initial evaluation must not be construed as consent for the
initial provision of special education and related services* @: 7=R
M@22*@22(a)(3)(ii)* The public a$ency must ma,e reasonable
efforts to obtain informed consent from the parent for an initial
6a$e 33
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
evaluation* @: 7=R M@22*@22(a)(3)(iii)* 0nder @: 7=R
M@22*@22(d)(1) a public a$ency must document its attempts to
obtain parental consent consistent with @: 7=R M@22*@44(d)*
#ocumentation could include ,eepin$ detailed records of
telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls
copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses
received and detailed records of visits made to the parent+s home
or place of employment and the results of those visits* "n the case
of a child who is homeless reasonable efforts may include if
applicable attempts to contact the family+s casewor,er or other
staff at an emer$ency shelter transitional shelter independent
livin$ pro$ram or street outreach pro$ram*
6arental consent for the initial evaluation is re!uired from parents
of all children includin$ parents of homeless children eDcept
under the circumstances specified in @: 7=R M@22*@22(a)(4) where
the child is a ward of the State and is not residin$ with the child+s
parent* =or unaccompanied homeless youth the re!uisite consent
could be provided by a surro$ate parent appointed in accordance
with @: 7=R M@22*13>* See Section = of this Q & A document
re$ardin$ 0naccompanied )omeless Iouth and Surro$ate 6arents*
"n addition a public a$ency must obtain informed parental consent
prior to conductin$ any reevaluation of a child with a disability*
@: 7=R M@22*@22(c)(3)(i)* )owever informed parental consent
for the reevaluation need not be obtained if the public a$ency can
demonstrate that it made reasonable efforts to obtain consent and
the child+s parent failed to respond* @: 7=R M@22*@22(c)(4)*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*@22(d)(1) the public a$ency must document
its attempts to obtain parental consent for the reevaluation
consistent with @: 7=R M@22*@44(d) as described above* "n the
case of a child who is homeless reasonable efforts may include if
applicable attempts to contact the family+s casewor,er or other
staff at an emer$ency shelter transitional shelter independent
livin$ pro$ram or street outreach pro$ram* "f the parent of a child
enrolled in or see,in$ to enroll in public school refuses to consent
to the initial evaluation or reevaluation or fails to respond to the
re!uest to provide consent for the initial evaluation the public
a$ency may but is not re!uired to pursue the evaluation or
reevaluation by usin$ the procedural safe$uards in Subpart E of the
6art ; re$ulations includin$ the mediation procedures under @:
7=R M@22*129 or the due process procedures in @: 7=R MM@22*12?
throu$h @22*139 if appropriate eDcept to the eDtent inconsistent
with State law relatin$ to such parental consent* @: 7=R
M@22*@22(a)(@)(i) and @22*@22(c)(3)(ii)*
6a$e 34
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Que(t"on C-3/ )ow do the 6art ; re!uirements for conductin$ initial evaluations
apply to homeless childrenK
An(,er/ 0nder 6art ; evaluations of all children includin$ homeless
children are sub.ect to the re!uirements of @: 7=R MM@22*@2: and
@22*@21* Re!uirements for eli$ibility determinations for all
children are sub.ect to the re!uirements of @: 7=R M@22*@29* =or
children suspected of havin$ specific learnin$ disabilities the
re!uirements in @: 7=R MM@22*@2? throu$h @22*@33 also are
applicable* 5hat follows is a summary of some of the relevant
re!uirements of 6art ; that are applicable to initial evaluations and
reevaluations of all children who have disabilities or who are
suspected of havin$ disabilities*
The purpose of the 6art ; evaluation as defined at @: 7=R
M@22*31 is to determine whether the child has a disability and the
nature and eDtent of the special education and related services
that the child needs* The public a$ency must provide the parents
prior written notice in accordance with @: 7=R M@22*12@
describin$ any evaluation procedures the a$ency proposes to
conduct* @: 7=R M@22*@2:(a)* "n conductin$ the evaluation the
school district must use a variety of assessment tools and
strate$ies to $ather relevant functional developmental and
academic information about the child includin$ information
provided by the parent that may assist in determinin$ whether the
child is a child with a disability and the child+s educational needs*
@: 7=R M@22*@2:(b)(3)* Go sin$le measure or assessment may
be used as the sole criterion for determinin$ whether a child is a
child with a disability and an appropriate educational pro$ram for
the child* @: 7=R M@22*@2:(b)(4)* Assessments and other
evaluation materials must be selected and administered so as not
to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis (@: 7=R
M@22*@2:(c)(3)(i)) must be valid and reliable and must be
administered by trained and ,nowled$eable personnel* @: 7=R
M@22*@2:(c)(3)(iii)'(iv)* Also assessments or other evaluation
materials must be provided and administered in the child+s native
lan$ua$e or other mode of communication and in the form most
li,ely to yield accurate information on what the child ,nows and
can do academically developmentally and functionally unless it
is clearly not feasible to do so* @: 7=R M@22*@2:(c)(3)(ii)* The
child must be assessed in all areas related to the suspected
disability includin$ if appropriate health vision hearin$ social
and emotional status $eneral intelli$ence academic performance
communicative status and motor abilities* @: 7=R M@22*@2:(c)
(:)* The additional re!uirements for review of eDistin$
evaluation data on the child in @: 7=R M@22*@21 also are
6a$e 3@
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
applicable to initial evaluations if determined appropriate and
any reevaluations conducted under 6art ;*
Que(t"on C-4/ "f a school district ,nows that a child is homeless and therefore
may leave a school prior to the completion of special education
evaluations must the school district be$in the process of initial
evaluationsK
An(,er/ Ies* 7onsistent with the child find obli$ation in @: 7=R M@22*333
described above all children who are suspected of havin$
disabilities and who are in need of special education and related
services includin$ homeless children must be evaluated in a timely
manner and without undue delay before the initial provision of
special education and related services* Either a parent or a public
a$ency may initiate a re!uest for an initial evaluation* @: 7=R
M@22*@23(b)* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@23(c)(3) once parental consent
is obtained an initial evaluation must be completed within 92 days
or if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation
must be conducted within that timeframe* 5ith the eDception noted
in !uestion 7'1 below the re!uirement for timely initial evaluations
applies to homeless children who transfer to a new public a$ency or
school district* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@2:(c)(1) assessments of
children with disabilities who transfer from one public a$ency to
another public a$ency in the same school year must be coordinated
with those children+s prior and subse!uent public a$encies as
necessary and as eDpeditiously as possible consistent with
M@22*@23(d)(4) and (e) (described in Question 7'1 below) to ensure
prompt completion of full evaluations*
Que(t"on C-5/ )ow does the eDception to the timeline for completion of
evaluations apply to children who are homelessK
An(,er/ The initial evaluation timeframe (whether 92'day or State'
established) does not apply if (3) the parent of a child repeatedly
fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluationL or (4) a
child enrolls in a school of another public a$ency or school district
after the relevant timeframe has be$un and prior to a determination
by the child+s previous public a$ency or school district whether the
child is a child with a disability under 6art ;* @: 7=R
M@22*@23(d)* "n the latter situation the new public a$ency or
school district may eDtend the 92'day or State'established
timeframe only if/ (3) it is ma,in$ sufficient pro$ress to ensure
prompt completion of the evaluationL and (4) the parent and the
6a$e 3:
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
new public a$ency a$ree to a specific time when the evaluation
will be completed* @: 7=R M@22*@23(e)*
Que(t"on C-6/ )ow does the evaluation process proceed when a child who is
homeless transfers to a new school district before the previous
school district completes the evaluation and eli$ibility processK
An(,er/ 5hen a child transfers to a new public a$ency or school district
durin$ the same school year while the evaluation is still pendin$
the child+s prior and subse!uent schools must coordinate the
assessments as necessary and as eDpeditiously as possible
consistent with @: 7=R M@22*@23(d)(4) and (e) to ensure prompt
completion of full evaluations* @: 7=R M@22*@2:(c)(1)* "n
addition under @: 7=R M@22*@4@($)(3) the new public a$ency in
which the child enrolls must ta,e reasonable steps to promptly
obtain the child+s records includin$ any supportin$ documents and
any records related to the provision of special education and
related services to the child pursuant to @: 7=R M>>*@3(a)(4) of
the re$ulations for the =amily Educational Ri$hts and 6rivacy Act
(=ER6A)* These =ER6A re$ulations permit disclosure without
parent consent of a student+s education records to officials of a
school or school system where a student see,s or intends to enroll*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*@4@($)(4) the previous public a$ency or
school district in which the child was enrolled must ta,e
reasonable steps to promptly respond to the re!uest for the
student+s records* These efforts can assist in the prompt
completion of the evaluation process since the new school district
may decide not to replicate the aspects of the evaluation completed
by the previous school district* "f records are shared in a timely
manner the new school district will be able to incorporate the
previous school district+s evaluations in ma,in$ its eli$ibility
determination for the child and in developin$ the child+s "E6 if
appropriate* "n addition the new school district will have access to
the information it needs to determine whether further evaluations
or assessments are necessary before ma,in$ its eli$ibility
determination*
Que(t"on C-7/ 5hat are the evaluation and placement re!uirements under Section
12: for homeless childrenK
An(,er/ A process of evaluation and reevaluation in accordance with
Section 12: is re!uired to determine whether a child has or
continues to have a disability under Section 12:* A recipient that
operates a public elementary or secondary education pro$ram or
6a$e 31
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
activity must conduct an evaluation of any individual who because
of disability is believed to need special education or related
services* @: 7=R M32:*@1(a)* The evaluation must use established
standards and procedures includin$ tests and other evaluation
materials that have been properly validated for the specific purpose
and must be administered by trained personnel* @: 7=R
M32:*@1(b)(3)* "n interpretin$ evaluation data and in ma,in$
placement decisions the recipient must draw upon information
from a variety of sources includin$ aptitude and achievement
tests teacher recommendations physical condition social or
cultural bac,$round and adaptive behavior and must ensure that
information obtained from these sources is documented and
carefully considered* @: 7=R M32:*@1(c)* "f the student is found
to have a disability under Section 12: then an appropriate
placement decision is made by a $roup of persons who are
,nowled$eable about the student the meanin$ of the evaluation
data and the placement options* @: 7=R M32:*@1(c)(@)* School
districts also may create a plan or other document describin$ the
evaluation and placement decisions they ma,e pursuant to Section
12:* A recipient also is re!uired to establish procedures for the
periodic reevaluation of students who have been provided special
education and related services* The Section 12: re$ulations
specify that evaluation procedures established under "#EA would
satisfy this re!uirement* @: 7=R M32:*@1(d)*
6a$e 39
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
D# E%")"b"%"ty an IEP(
Aut*or"ty/ The re!uirements for the eli$ibility determination are found at @:
7=R M@22*@29* The re!uirements for parent consent for the initial
provision of special education and related services are found at @:
7=R M@22*@22(b)* The re!uirements for development and
implementation of "E6s are found at @: 7=R MM@22*@42 throu$h
@22*@4:*
Que(t"on D-./ "f a public a$ency determines that a homeless child has a disability
followin$ the homeless child+s initial evaluation what steps must
be ta,en before the child can receive special education and related
services for the first timeK
An(,er/ After completion of administration of assessments and other
evaluation measures a $roup of !ualified professionals includin$
the parents of the child must determine whether the child is a
Achild with a disabilityB under 6art ; and the educational needs of
the child* @: 7=R M@22*@29(a)(3)* The public a$ency must
provide the parent with a copy of the evaluation report and
documentation of the eli$ibility determination at no cost* @: 7=R
M@22*@29(a)(4)* "f the homeless child is an unaccompanied
homeless youth as defined in section ?41(9) of the %c&inney'
(ento Act the re!uirements for appointment of surro$ate parents
in @: 7=R M@22*13> would be applicable and the re!uirements for
eli$ibility determinations that are applicable to parents would
apply to the surro$ate parent appointed to represent the child in
special education matters* See Section = of this Q & A document
re$ardin$ 0naccompanied )omeless Iouth and Surro$ate 6arents*
"n interpretin$ evaluation data for purposes of determinin$ whether
the child is a child with a disability under @: 7=R M@22*F and the
educational needs of the child each public a$ency must draw upon
information from a variety of sources includin$ aptitude and
achievement tests parent input teacher recommendations as well
as information about the child+s physical condition social or
cultural bac,$round and adaptive behavior (@: 7=R M@22*@29(c)
(3)(i))* Each public a$ency also must ensure that information
obtained from all of these sources is documented and carefully
considered (@: 7=R M@22*@29(c)(3)(ii))* "f a determination is
made that the child has a disability and needs special education and
related services an "E6 that meets the re!uirements of MM@22*@42
throu$h @22*@4: must be developed for the child* @: 7=R
M@22*@29(c)(4)*
6a$e 3?
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Que(t"on D-2/ %ust parents of children with disabilities $ive their informed
consent before their child+s "E6 is developed and implemented for
the first timeK 5hat happens if the parent of a homeless child with
a disability fails to respond to the re!uest for consentK
An(,er/ A public a$ency that is responsible for ma,in$ =A6E available to a
child with a disability must obtain informed consent from the
parent for the initial provision of special education and related
services* @: 7=R M@22*@22(b)(3)* "f the child is an
unaccompanied homeless youth the re!uirements in @: 7=R
M@22*13> re$ardin$ surro$ate parents are applicable and the public
a$ency must obtain the informed consent of the child+s surro$ate
parent appointed to represent the child in special education matters*
See Section = of this Q & A document re$ardin$ 0naccompanied
)omeless Iouth and Surro$ate 6arents* The public a$ency must
ma,e reasonable efforts to obtain informed consent from the parent
or surro$ate parent for the initial provision of special education and
related services* @: 7=R M@22*@22(b)(4)* To meet the reasonable
efforts re!uirement under @: 7=R M@22*@22(d)(1) the public
a$ency must document its attempts to obtain parental consent
usin$ the procedures in @: 7=R M@22*@44(d)* These procedures
include ,eepin$ detailed records of telephone calls made or
attempted and the results of those calls copies of correspondence
sent to the parents and any responses received and detailed records
of visits to the parent+s home or place of employment and the
results of those visits* "n the case of a child who is homeless
reasonable efforts may include if applicable attempts to contact
the family+s casewor,er or other staff at an emer$ency shelter
transitional shelter independent livin$ pro$ram or street outreach
pro$ram* "f the parent fails to respond or refuses consent to the
initial provision of special education and related services the
public a$ency may not use the consent override procedures
includin$ the mediation procedures in M@22*129 and the due
process procedures under MM@22*12? throu$h @22*139 in order to
obtain a$reement or a rulin$ that the services may be provided to
the child* @: 7=R M@22*@22(b)(@)* "f the parent refuses to consent
to the initial provision of special education and related services or
fails to respond to a re!uest to provide consent for the initial
provision of special education and related services the public
a$ency or school district is not re!uired to convene an "E6 meetin$
to develop an "E6 for the child for the special education services
for which the parent+s consent was re!uested* @: 7=R
M@22*@22(b)(:)(ii)*
6a$e 3F
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Que(t"on D-3/ 5hat are the timelines in 6art ; for conductin$ "E6 Team
meetin$sK
An(,er/ At the be$innin$ of each school year each public a$ency must
have in effect for each child with a disability in the a$ency+s
.urisdiction an "E6 as defined in M@22*@42* @: 7=R MM@22*@4@(a)*
An "E6 is a written statement for a child developed reviewed and
revised at a meetin$ of a team which includes school officials and
parents in accordance with MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4:* Each
child+s "E6 must include amon$ other elements a statement of the
child+s present levels of academic achievement and functional
performance measurable annual $oals desi$ned to meet the child+s
needs that result from the child+s disability special education and
related services to be provided supplementary aids and services
and pro$ram modifications or supports for school personnel* @:
7=R M@22*@42(a)(3) (4) and (:)* The special education and
support services are to enable the child to be involved and ma,e
pro$ress in the $eneral education curriculum that is the same
curriculum as for nondisabled students and to participate in
eDtracurricular and other nonacademic activities and to be
educated and participate with children with and without disabilities
in those activities* @: 7=R M@22*@42(a)(:)(ii)'(iii)* =or children
a$e 39 and older and for youn$er children if determined
appropriate by the "E6 Team the child+s "E6 must contain a
statement of appropriate measurable postsecondary $oals and the
transition services needed to assist the child in reachin$ those
$oals* @: 7=R M@22*@42(b)* A meetin$ to develop an initial "E6
for a child with a disability must be conducted within @2 days of
the determination that the child needs special education and related
services* @: 7=R M@22*@4@(c)(3)* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@4@(c)(4)
as soon as possible followin$ development of the "E6 special
education and related services must be made available to the child
in accordance with the child+s "E6* Each public a$ency must
ensure that the child+s "E6 Team reviews the child+s "E6
periodically but not less than annually to ensure that the annual
$oals are bein$ achieved and revises the "E6 as appropriate* @:
7=R M@22*@4:(b)(3)*
Que(t"on D-4/ 5hat steps must public a$encies ta,e to ensure that the parents of a
homeless child attend their child+s "E6 Team meetin$K 5hat steps
must the public a$ency ta,e if the public a$ency has been unable to
confirm a meetin$ with the parentK
An(,er/ 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@44(a) each public a$ency must ta,e steps to
ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability
6a$e 3>
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
are present at each "E6 Team meetin$ or are afforded the
opportunity to participate* These steps include notifyin$ parents of
the meetin$ early enou$h to ensure that they will have an
opportunity to attend and schedulin$ the meetin$ at a mutually
a$reed on time and place* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@44(c) if neither
parent can attend an "E6 Team meetin$ the public a$ency must
use other methods to ensure parent participation includin$
individual or conference telephone calls consistent with M@22*@4F
(related to alternative means of meetin$ participation)*
"f the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth then the public
a$ency must attempt to schedule the "E6 meetin$ with the child+s
surro$ate parent appointed under @: 7=R M@22*13> and the
re!uisite notice of "E6 meetin$s that must be provided to the
child+s parents must be provided to the child+s surro$ate parent*
See Section = of this Q & A document re$ardin$ 0naccompanied
)omeless Iouth and Surro$ate 6arents*
Que(t"on D-5/ 0nder what circumstances may an "E6 Team meetin$ be
conducted without a parent in attendanceK
An(,er/ 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@44(d) an "E6 meetin$ may be conducted
without a parent in attendance if the public a$ency is unable to
convince the parents that they should attend* "n this case the
public a$ency must ,eep a record of its attempts to arran$e a
mutually a$reed on time and place* This can include detailed
records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of
those callsL copies of correspondence sent to the parent+s home or
place of employment and any responses receivedL and detailed
records of visits made to the parent+s home or place of
employment and the results of those visits* 5hile attempts to
ma,e visits to a family residence may be impossible when families
are homeless public a$encies should attempt to locate parents of
homeless children throu$h such means as visitin$ the place where
the family is temporarily housed such as an emer$ency shelter
transitional shelter independent livin$ pro$ram or street outreach
pro$ram or contactin$ the family+s case wor,er or other staff from
those shelters or pro$rams if appropriate*
6a$e 42
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Que(t"on D-6/ 5hat steps must the responsible school district ta,e to ensure that
homeless children with disabilities enrolled in new schools in
another school district have the opportunity to immediately attend
classes and participate in school activitiesK
An(,er/ 6art ; contains re!uirements for "E6s when students with
disabilities transfer into new school districts and these
re!uirements are fully applicable to homeless children with
disabilities* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@4@(e) if a child with a disability
who had an "E6 in effect in a previous school district or public
a$ency transfers to a new school district or public a$ency within
the same State and enrolls in a new school within the same school
year the new public a$ency (in consultation with the parents) must
provide the child with =A6E (includin$ services comparable to
those described in the child+s "E6 from the previous public a$ency)
until the new public a$ency either adopts the child+s "E6 from the
previous public a$ency or develops adopts and implements a new
"E6 for the child that meets the applicable re!uirements in @: 7=R
MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4:*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*@4@(f) if a child with a disability who had an
"E6 in effect in a previous public a$ency in another State transfers
to a new public a$ency in a new State and enrolls in a new school
within the same school year the new public a$ency (in
consultation with the parents) must provide the child with =A6E
(includin$ services comparable to those described in the child+s
"E6 from the previous public a$ency) until the new public a$ency
(3) conducts an evaluation of the child that meets the re!uirements
of MM@22*@2: throu$h @22*@29 (if the new public a$ency
determines it is necessary) and (4) develops adopts and
implements a new "E6 if appropriate that meets the applicable
re!uirements in @: 7=R MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4:* 0nder
@: 7=R M@22*@4@($)(3) the new school district in which the child
is enrolled must ta,e reasonable steps to promptly obtain the
child+s records from the previous public a$ency includin$ the
child+s "E6 and supportin$ documents and any other records
related to the provision of special education and related services*
Each child+s "E6 must contain amon$ other elements a statement
of the special education and related services and supplementary
aids and services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the
child and a statement of the pro$ram modifications or supports for
school personnel that will be provided to enable the child to be
involved in and ma,e pro$ress in the $eneral education curriculum
and to participate in eDtracurricular and other nonacademic
activitiesL and to be educated and participate with other children
6a$e 43
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
with disabilities and nondisabled children in those activities* @:
7=R MM@22*@42(a)(:) and @22*@4:(b)*
=urther under @: 7=R M@22*32? States must ensure that their
public a$encies ta,e steps to afford children with disabilities an
e!ual opportunity for participation in nonacademic and
eDtracurricular services and activities includin$ counselin$
services athletics transportation health services recreational
activities special interest $roups or clubs sponsored by the public
a$ency referrals to a$encies that provide assistance to individuals
with disabilities and employment of students includin$ both
employment by the public a$ency and assistance in ma,in$ outside
employment available* Throu$h appropriate implementation of
these and other applicable provisions public a$encies can ensure
that homeless children with disabilities can promptly attend school
and receive re!uired instruction and services as well as participate
in the ran$e of nonacademic and eDtracurricular activities available
to other children with and without disabilities*
Que(t"on D-7/ 5hat options are available when an out'of'state transfer student
who is homeless cannot produce an "E6 and the parent is the
source for identifyin$ AcomparableB servicesK
An(,er/ The 6art ; re$ulations re!uire at @: 7=R M@22*@4@($) the new
public a$ency and the previous public a$ency to ta,e steps to
facilitate the transition for a child who transfers to a new public
a$ency that is either in the same State or in a different State and
enrolls in a new school in the same school year* @: 7=R
M@22*@4@(e) and (f)* The new public a$ency in which the child
enrolls must ta,e reasonable steps to promptly obtain the child+s
records includin$ the "E6 and supportin$ documents and any other
records relatin$ to the provision of special education or related
services to the child from the previous public a$ency in which the
child was enrolled pursuant to @: 7=R M>>*@3(a)(4)* @: 7=R
M@22*@4@($)(3)* The previous public a$ency in which the child
was enrolled must ta,e reasonable steps to promptly respond to the
re!uest from the new public a$ency* @: 7=R M@22*@4@($)(4)*
Similarly the %c&inney'(ento Act re!uires children eDperiencin$
homelessness to be able to immediately enroll in school even if
they are unable to produce records normally re!uired for
enrollment such as previous academic records which
include "E6s*
"f after ta,in$ these reasonable steps the new public a$ency is not
able to obtain the "E6 from the previous public a$ency or from the
6a$e 44
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
parent the new public a$ency is not re!uired to provide services to
the child pursuant to @: 7=R M@22*@4@(f)(4)* This is because the
new public a$ency in consultation with the parents would be
unable to determine what constitutes comparable services for the
child since that determination must be based on the services
contained in the childOs "E6 from the previous public a$ency*
)owever the new public a$ency must place the child in the re$ular
school pro$ram and conduct an evaluation and eli$ibility
determination pursuant to @: 7=R MM@22*@2: throu$h @22*@29 if
determined to be necessary by the new public a$ency* @: 7=R
M@22*@4@(f)(3)* "f there is a dispute between the parent and the
new public a$ency re$ardin$ whether an evaluation is necessary or
re$ardin$ what special education and related services are needed to
provide =A6E to the child the dispute could be resolved throu$h
the mediation procedures in @: 7=R M@22*129 or as appropriate
the due process procedures in @: 7=R MM@22*12? throu$h @22*13F*
Once a due process complaint notice re!uestin$ a due process
hearin$ is filed under @: 7=R M@22*13F(b) the child with the
consent of the parents must be placed in the re$ular school
pro$ram durin$ the pendency of any due process proceedin$s*
Que(t"on D-8/ )ow can parents of homeless children with disabilities eDercise
their due process ri$hts or file State complaints when their child
has no fiDed residenceK
An(,er/ "f a parent of a child with a disability disa$rees with a public
a$ency on any matter re$ardin$ the identification evaluation or
educational placement of the child or the provision of a free
appropriate public education to the child the parent may eDercise
their due process ri$hts as described at @: 7=R MM@22*12? throu$h
@22*13F* "n filin$ a due process complaint notice to re!uest a due
process hearin$ as outlined in @: 7=R MM@22*12? throu$h @22*12F
for homeless children or youth within the meanin$ of the
%c&inney'(ento Act the due process complaint notice must
include available contact information for the child in lieu of the
address of the child+s residence and the name of the school the
child is attendin$* @: 7=R M@22*12F(a)(:)* The public a$ency
must inform the parent of any free or low'cost le$al and other
relevant services available in the area if the parent re!uests the
information or the parent or the a$ency files a due process
complaint to re!uest a due process hearin$* @: 7=R M@22*12?(b)*
"f the homeless child or youth has no parent within the meanin$ of
@: 7=R M@22*@2 the child+s surro$ate parent would eDercise due
process ri$hts on the child+s behalf* See Section = of this Q & A
document re$ardin$ 0naccompanied )omeless Iouth and
6a$e 4@
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
Surro$ate 6arents* "n addition under @: 7=R MM@22*313 throu$h
@22*31@ States must have procedures for resolvin$ any si$ned
written complaint filed by an or$ani8ation or individual includin$
a complaint filed by an individual from another State alle$in$ that
a public a$ency has violated a re!uirement of 6art ; of "#EA or
the 6art ; re$ulations* @: 7=R MM@22*31@(a)* "f a State complaint
is filed alle$in$ violations re$ardin$ a specific child and the
complaint involves a homeless child or youth within the meanin$
of the %c&inney'(ento Act the si$ned written complaint must
include available contact information for the child in lieu of the
address of the child+s residence and the name of the school the
child is attendin$* @: 7=R M@22*31@(b)(:)(iii)*
6a$e 4:
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
E# S!*oo%( o+ Or")"n
Aut*or"ty/ The re!uirements for schools of ori$in are found in the %c&inney'
(ento Act at :4 0*S*7* 33:@4($)(@)* The re!uirements for
placements are found in the 6art ; re$ulations at @: 7=R
M@22*339*
Que(t"on E-./ 7an a homeless child+s disability be a factor in determinin$
whether continuin$ in a school of ori$in is in their best interestK
An(,er/ Ies* The %c&inney'(ento Act defines Aschool of ori$inB as the
school the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the
school in which the child or youth was last enrolled* "f a child
becomes homeless HEAs must dependin$ on what is in the best
interest of the child either continue the child+s education in the
school of ori$in or enroll the child in any public school that non'
homeless students who live in the attendance area where the child
is actually livin$ are eli$ible to attend* "n determinin$ best
interest HEAs must to the eDtent feasible ,eep children in the
school of ori$in unless it is a$ainst the wishes of the parent or
$uardian* :4 0*S*7* 33:@4($)(@)*
#eterminations re$ardin$ best interest are fact'specific and need to
be made on an individual basis* Additionally there may be
circumstances in which the eDistence of a disability may factor into
best interest determinations affectin$ school placements* 0nder @:
7=R M@22*339(a)(3) in determinin$ the educational placement of a
child with a disability includin$ a preschool child with a disability
each child+s placement decision must be made by a $roup of
persons includin$ the parents and other persons ,nowled$eable
about the child the meanin$ of evaluation data and placement
options* =urther under @: 7=R M@22*339(b)(3)'(4) the child+s
placement is determined at least annually and is based on the
child+s "E6* Therefore the placement $roup from the public
a$ency responsible for providin$ =A6E to a homeless child with a
disability would need to determine whether it would be appropriate
to continue the child+s placement in his or her school of ori$in or
place the child in a new school*
Que(t"on E-2/ "f a homeless child moves to a new school district in the same
State durin$ the same school year and elects to attend the school of
ori$in which school district is responsible for providin$ special
education and related servicesK
6a$e 41
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
An(,er/ "f a homeless child with a disability moves into a new school
district in the same State but elects to attend the school of ori$in
the SEA consistent with its $eneral supervisory responsibility
must determine which public a$ency in the State is responsible for
ensurin$ that the child receives =A6E* @: 7=R M@22*3:>*
7onsistent with @: 7=R M@22*423 the public a$ency that the State
determines is responsible for ensurin$ that the homeless child with
a disability receives =A6E is responsible for obtainin$ parental
consent conductin$ evaluations and reevaluations and
determinin$ eli$ibility in accordance with @: 7=R MM@22*@22
throu$h @22*@33 developin$ and implementin$ the child+s "E6 in
accordance with @: 7=R MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4: ensurin$
placement in accordance with the least restrictive environment
provisions in @: 7=R MM@22*33: throu$h @22*33? and affordin$
eli$ible children and their parents the procedural safe$uards and
due process ri$hts includin$ the discipline procedures in @: 7=R
MM@22*122 throu$h @22*1@9*
The SEA could determine that the school district in which the child
continues to be enrolled retains the responsibility for providin$
=A6E to the child or the SEA could assi$n that responsibility to
the new public a$ency or school district where the child is located*
Que(t"on E-3 )ow does the Nschool of ori$in+ provision apply to homeless
children with disabilities who move across State linesK
An(,er/ "f homeless children move across State lines under "#EA
responsibility for providin$ =A6E to the homeless child with a
disability $enerally shifts to the State where the child moves* "f a
homeless child with a disability moves across State lines and
continues to attend the school of ori$in the #epartment
encoura$es the State where the child moves and the State where
the school of ori$in is to wor, to$ether to ensure that the homeless
child who continues enrollment in the school of ori$in receives
appropriate services*
"f a homeless child with a disability moves across State lines and
enrolls in a new school in the new State within the same school
year the re!uirements of @: 7=R M@22*@4@(f) and ($) are
applicable* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*@4@(f) if a child with a disability
(who had an "E6 that was in effect in a previous public a$ency in
another State) transfers to a public a$ency in a new State and
enrolls in a new school within the same school year the new
public a$ency (in consultation with the parents) must provide the
child with =A6E (includin$ services comparable to those described
6a$e 49
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
in the child+s "E6 from the previous public a$ency) until the new
public a$encyP
(3) 7onducts an evaluation pursuant to MM@22*@2: throu$h
@22*@29 (if determined to be necessary by the new public
a$ency)L and
(4) #evelops adopts and implements a new "E6 if
appropriate that meets the applicable re!uirements in
MM@22*@42 throu$h @22*@4:*
Additionally under @: 7=R M@22*@4@($) to facilitate the child+s
transition the new public a$ency in which the child enrolls and the
previous public a$ency must ta,e prompt and reasonable steps to
ensure that the child+s records includin$ the "E6 and supportin$
documents and any other records relatin$ to the provision of
special education or related services to the child are provided to
the new public a$ency pursuant to @: 7=R M>>*@3(a)(4) of the
re$ulations for the =amily Educational Ri$hts and 6rivacy Act*
The "#EA re!uirements specified in this section of the Q & A
document facilitate the provision of appropriate services to
homeless children with disabilities who move across State lines*
6a$e 4?
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
F# Una!!o'0an"e Ho'e%e(( 8out* an Surro)ate Parent(
Aut*or"ty/ The re!uirements for surro$ate parents are found at @: 7=R
M@22*13>*
Que(t"on F-./ 5hen are homeless children considered Aunaccompanied youthB
and what protections do these children have under 6art ;K
An(,er/ The %c&inney'(ento Act defines Aunaccompanied youthB as
youth who are not in the physical custody of a parent or $uardian*
:4 0*S*7* 33:@:(a)(9)* "f a child with a disability is an
unaccompanied homeless youth under @: 7=R M@22*13>(a)(:) the
public a$ency must ensure that the youth+s ri$hts are protected
throu$h assi$nment of a surro$ate parent includin$ a method for
determinin$ whether the child needs a surro$ate parent and for
assi$nin$ a surro$ate parent to the child* @: 7=R M@22*13>(a)(:)
and (b)* An individual appointed to act as a surro$ate for the
parent must meet all of the selection criteria in @: 7=R
M@22*13>(d)* These criteria permit a surro$ate to be appointed in
any manner permitted under State law* @: 7=R M@22*13>(d)(3)*
0nder @: 7=R M@22*13>(d)(4) the surro$ate parent may not be an
employee of the SEA HEA or any other a$ency that is involved in
the education or care of the child must have no personal or
professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child and
must have ,nowled$e and s,ills that ensure ade!uate
representation of the child* @: 7=R M@22*13>(d)(4)(i)* )owever
under @: 7=R M@22*13>(f) in the case of a child with a disability
who is an unaccompanied homeless youth appropriate staff of
emer$ency shelters transitional shelters independent livin$
pro$rams and street outreach pro$rams that are involved in the
education or care of the child may be appointed as temporary
surro$ate parents without re$ard to the non'employee re!uirement
in M@22*13>(d)(4)(i) until a surro$ate parent can be appointed who
is not an employee of an a$ency that is involved in the education
or care of the child* "ndividuals appointed as temporary surro$ate
parents still must have no personal or professional interest that
conflicts with the interests of the child and must have ,nowled$e
and s,ills ade!uate to represent the child* @: 7=R M@22*13>(d)(4)
(ii)'(iii)* Surro$ate parents includin$ temporary surro$ate parents
are considered the unaccompanied homeless youth+s AparentB for
special educational purposes* 0nder @: 7=R M@22*13>($)
surro$ate parents may represent a child in all matters relatin$ to/
(3) the identification evaluation and educational placement of the
childL and (4) the provision of =A6E to the child* 0nder @: 7=R
M@22*13>(h) the SEA must ma,e reasonable efforts to ensure the
6a$e 4F
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
assi$nment of a surro$ate parent not more than @2 days after the
public a$ency determines that the child needs a surro$ate parent*
Que(t"on F-2/ 5hat ri$hts are afforded to an unaccompanied homeless youth
with a disability who has reached the a$e of ma.ority under State
lawK
An(,er/ 0nder @: 7=R M@22*142(a) a State may provide that when a child
with a disability reaches the a$e of ma.ority under State law that
applies to all children (eDcept for a child with a disability who has
been determined to be incompetent under State law) the public
a$ency must provide any notice re!uired by the 6art ; re$ulations
to both the child and the parents and all ri$hts accorded to parents
under 6art ; transfer to the child* Additionally under @: 7=R
M@22*142(a)(@) whenever a State provides for this transfer of
ri$hts the a$ency must notify the child and the parents of the
transfer of ri$hts*
A State must establish procedures for appointin$ the parent of a
child with a disability or if the parent is not available another
appropriate individual to represent the educational interests of the
child throu$hout the period of the childOs eli$ibility under 6art ; if
under State law a child who has reached the a$e of ma.ority but
has not been determined to be incompetent can be determined not
to have the ability to provide informed consent with respect to the
childOs educational pro$ram* @: 7=R M@22*142(b)* Althou$h not
re!uired by 6art ; for an unaccompanied homeless youth these
procedures could include the appointment of a surro$ate parent in
accordance with @: 7=R M@22*13> to represent the child+s
educational interests throu$hout the period of the child+s eli$ibility
under 6art ;*
6a$e 4>
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
$# Ear%y Inter1ent"on Ser1"!e(
Aut*or"ty/ 6art 7 of "#EA is found at 42 0*S*7* MM3:@3 throu$h 3::: and @:
7=R 6art @2@* The re!uirements for providin$ appropriate early
intervention services for homeless infants and toddlers with
disabilities and their families are found at 42 0*S*7* MM3:@:(3) and
3:@1(a)(4)*
Que(t"on $-./ %ust early intervention services be made available to homeless
infants and toddlersK
An(,er/ 6art 7 of "#EA re!uires States that accept 6art 7 funds to ma,e
appropriate early intervention services available to infants and
toddlers with disabilities and their families located in the State
includin$ infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families
who are homeless* 42 0*S*7* MM3:@:(3) and 3:@1(a)(4)* "nfants
and toddlers with disabilities include children under the a$e of
three who need early intervention services because they (3) are
eDperiencin$ developmental delays as measured by appropriate
dia$nostic instruments and procedures in one or more of these
developmental areas Q co$nitive physical (includin$ vision and
hearin$) communication social or emotional or adaptiveL or (4)
have a dia$nosed physical or mental condition that has a hi$h
probability of resultin$ in developmental delay* 42 0*S*7*
M3:@4(1)(A)* A State may also include at its discretion at'ris,
infants and toddlers who may include at'ris, infants and toddlers
who are homeless* 42 0*S*7* M3:@4(1)(;)(i)*
Que(t"on $-2/ )ow do the 6art 7 child find re!uirements apply to homeless
infants and toddlersK
An(,er/ 6art 7 re!uires a StateOs child find system to include the policies
and procedures that the State will follow to ensure that all infants
and toddlers includin$ homeless infants and toddlers in the State
who are eli$ible for early intervention services under 6art 7 are
identified located and evaluated* See 42 0*S*7* MM3:34(a)(@)(A)
3:@:(3) and 3:@1(a)(4) and @: 7=R M@2@*@43(b)(3)*
Que(t"on $-3/ 5hat are some practices that may be helpful in identifyin$
homeless infants and toddlers who would benefit from early
intervention servicesK
An(,er/ The State+s child find system provides that the State may conduct
outreach to primary referral sources such as family shelters for the
6a$e @2
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
homeless health service offices and public schools by providin$
these entities with public awareness materials about the State+s
6art 7 pro$ram* See @: 7=R M@2@*@42 includin$ Gote 3* The
6art 7 lead a$ency may wish to disseminate public awareness
materials that summari8e the StateOs 6art 7 eli$ibility criteria (i*e*
provide a State specific definition of "nfants and toddlers with
disabilities and eDamples of ,ey components of the definition such
as dia$nosed conditions or developmental delays)*
6ublic awareness activities could include developin$ fact sheets
and brochures about the 6art 7 pro$ram and the %c&inney'(ento
ActL presentations by 6art 7 staff and %c&inney'(ento staff at
each other+s staff meetin$sL providin$ informational presentations
for parents and professionals at such venues as surro$ate parent
pro$rams and 6arent Trainin$ and "nformation 7entersL
distributin$ posters and wallet cards about early intervention
services for homeless parents at schools shelters food ban,s and
health clinicsL and sponsorin$ family'centered events to inform
parents of homeless infants and toddlers about the %c&inney'
(ento Act and the 6art 7 pro$ram* States also could establish
.oint child find and identification teams where 6art 7 staff refer
homeless families to the local liaison and the liaison refers
homeless families with children whom they suspect may be
eli$ible for 6art 7 to 6art 7 staff for further screenin$ and
evaluation* States also may want to coordinate with staff of
emer$ency shelters transitional shelters independent livin$
pro$rams street outreach pro$rams and other advocacy
or$ani8ations and see, their assistance in identifyin$ the warnin$
si$ns of a disability as !uic,ly as possible*
Additionally the State intera$ency coordinatin$ council under 6art
7 must include amon$ its members a representative desi$nated by
the Office of the 7oordinator for Education of )omeless 7hildren
and Iouth* 42 0*S*7* M3::3(b)(3)(&)* Administrators of State
6art 7 pro$rams should eDplore different methods of ensurin$ the
participation of homeless infants and toddlers with disabilities and
their families in the State+s 6art 7 early intervention pro$ram* See
42 0*S*7* M3:@?(b)(?)* A State throu$h its intera$ency
coordinatin$ council could eDplore the possibility of enterin$ into
an intera$ency a$reement for child find purposes with the
homeless representative re!uired under "#EA section 9:3(b)(3)
(&)* This a$reement could address streamlinin$ referrals to 6art 7
pro$rams from shelters and other primary referral sources
(includin$ attachin$ any relevant and available medical records of
a child) trainin$ staff from such sources in preliminary screenin$
methods and .ointly developin$ consent forms that would enable
6a$e @3
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
communication between 6art 7 pro$rams and referral sources and
increase the service coordinatorOs ability to contact shelter or other
staff wor,in$ with the family*
6a$e @4
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
H# Coor"nat"on 2et,een M!9"nney-:ento an
S0e!"a% Eu!at"on Pro)ra'(
Aut*or"ty/ The re!uirements for State Advisory 6anels are found in the 6art ;
re$ulations at @: 7=R MM@22*39? throu$h @22*39>* The
re!uirements for the State "ntera$ency 7oordinatin$ 7ouncil under
6art 7 are found at 42 0*S*7* M3::3(b)(3)(&)* The re!uirements
for State 7oordinators under the %c&inney'(ento Act are found at
:4 0*S*7* M33:@4(f)*
Que(t"on H-./ #oes 6art ; include any re!uirements for special education
personnel to coordinate with homeless education personnelK
An(,er/ Ies* 6art ; re!uires that State and local homeless education
officials be included on State Advisory 6anels established and
maintained for the purpose of providin$ policy $uidance on the
provision of special education and related services for children
with disabilities in the State* @: 7=R MM@22*39? and @22*39F(a)
(1)* Other members of the State advisory panel who must be
appointed by the <overnor or any other official authori8ed under
State law to ma,e such appointments include parents of children
with disabilities (a$es birth throu$h 49) individuals with
disabilities teachers and administrators of pro$rams for children
with disabilities representatives of other State a$encies involved in
the financin$ or delivery of related services to children with
disabilities representatives of institutions of hi$her education that
prepare special education and related services personnel
representatives of private schools and public charter schools at
least one representative of a vocational business or community
or$ani8ation concerned with the provision of transition services to
children with disabilities a representative from the State child
welfare a$ency responsible for foster care and representatives
from the State .uvenile and adult corrections a$encies* @: 7=R
M@22*39F(a)* The ma.ority of the members of the panel must be
individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities
(a$es birth throu$h 49)* @: 7=R M@22*39F(b)* One duty of the
State advisory panel is to advise the SEA in developin$ and
implementin$ policies relatin$ to the coordination of services for
children with disabilities* @: 7=R M@22*39>(e)*
Similarly as noted above the State "ntera$ency 7oordinatin$
7ouncil for 6art 7 pro$rams must include at least one
representative from the office of the 7oordinator for Education of
)omeless 7hildren and Iouth* 42 0*S*7* 3::3(b)(3)(&)* 0nder
the %c&inney'(ento Act State 7oordinators for the Education of
)omeless 7hildren and Iouth must collaborate with other
6a$e @@
QU E S T I O N S A N D AN S WE R S O N S P E C I A L E D U C A T I O N A N D HO ME L E S S N E S S
educators to improve the provision of comprehensive education
and related services to homeless children* :4 0*S*7* M33:@4($)(9)
(7)*
6a$e @: