The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (Act) provides important protections and rights for homeless children and unaccompanied homeless youth. Pursuant to the Act, students experiencing homelessness must be immediately enrolled in the school of origin or the school in the attendance zone where the student currently resides. Disagreements over eligibility, school selection, or enrollment may be disputed. If a dispute arises the child or youth must be immediately enrolled in the school of origin or school located in the child’s attendance zone, as requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals.
McKinney-Vento (MV) disputes should be resolved locally, whenever possible and must go through the local McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution process. To learn more about filing a dispute within a district, please consult with the District McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison. The Homeless Liaison is available to assist homeless students and families with filing an appeal and navigating the dispute resolution process. If a resolution is not reached locally, then MV disputes may be submitted to TEA.
MV disputes should be expedited and resolved promptly to meet federal requirements. Districts have a responsibility to ensure that local timelines in the district’s complaint policies are expedited, whenever possible, to meet the U.S. Department of Education and the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) expectation of prompt dispute resolution.
- What happens after TEA receives a complaint?
Once a complaint is received, TEA will notify the district homeless liaison that a complaint was filed and request that all related documentation, including the dispute resolution record and any other information the school board used in its decision-making, is submitted to the TEA within five business days.
- How soon will TEA make a decision?
The TEA homeless education coordinator, or designee, along with the appropriate agency director, shall make a final decision within 20 business days upon receipt of the full record from the LEA and any additional records required by TEA to review the dispute.
- How will the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth be notified of TEA’s decision?
TEA’s written decision will be sent by letter electronically and in hard copy to: the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth who filed the complaint; the local school district’s homeless liaison; and the local superintendent.
- If the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth disagrees with TEA, is there a further appeal available?
No. TEA’s decisions under McKinney-Vento are final.
- What should I do if such a dispute arises and the school refuses to immediately enroll the child or youth, consequently denying my ability to file a local appeal?
- Contact the school district’s homeless liaison and/or the school district’s superintendent’s office immediately. A list of Homeless Liaisons can be downloaded from TEA’s AskTED (Texas Education Directory). Read additional instructions for obtaining contact information from AskTed.
- Contact the Texas Homeless Education Office at 1-800-446-3142 for assistance with immediate enrollment.
- Contact TEA’s office of General Inquiries at (512) 463-9290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.