AB 27/SB 400 – Requires The Reporting Of Homeless Children, Youths, And Unaccompanied Youth; Establishes Collaboration And Training Requirements For Local Educational Agencies

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Nov 04, 2021

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (the Act), provides grants to states to carry out activities relating to the education of homeless children and youths, including providing services and activities to improve the identification of homeless children and youths and to enable them to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. The Act requires that state plans submitted to receive the grant include assurances that local educational agencies will designate an appropriate staff person to act as a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths. The plan must also include a description of how the state will ensure that local educational agencies and their liaisons will comply with the identification of homeless children and youths.

Under existing state law, public schools, including charter schools, and county offices of education are required to immediately enroll a homeless child or youth seeking enrollment. Existing law requires a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths to ensure that public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youth is disseminated in schools within the liaison’s local educational agency that provides services pursuant to the Act.

AB 27 mandates a local program and authorize $1,500,000 to be allocated to up to three county offices of education in different regions to establish technical assistance centers to foster relationships with community partners and other local educational agencies in each region.

AB 27 and SB 400 establish the following requirements:

  • A local educational agency to ensure that each school within the local educational agency identifies all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled at the school.
  • Local educational agencies receiving funding from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief – Homeless Children and Youth Fund must administer a housing questionnaire to identify homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, and to annually provide the housing questionnaire to all parents or guardians of pupils and unaccompanied youths of the local educational agency; the questionnaire must be provided in the parents/guardians primary language or translated upon request; and the data collected must be reported to the department annually.
  • A school district, charter school, or county office of education must create an internet web page or post on their existing webpage a list of the local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youths; include the liaisons’ contact information; and identify the educational rights of pupils and resources available to persons experiencing homelessness.
  • The State Department of Education (the Department) must develop best practices and a model housing questionnaire that must be made available on their website.
  • The Department must provide training materials to assist liaisons with providing professional development to school staff providing services pursuant to the Act.
  • The Department shall develop a system to verify that school staff providing services to youth experiencing homelessness are being training annually.

(AB 27 and SB 400 amend Sections 48852.5 and 48859 of the Education Code, and AB 27 adds Sections 48851, 48852.6, and 48857 to the Education Code.)

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