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 Title IX, Part A - McKinney Vento - School Closures

1.     Will GaDOE allow greater flexibility for McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) grantees to submit FY20 EHCY Budget Amendments?

The GaDOE will allow EHCY grantees to submit budget amendments throughout the FY20 grant period ending on September 30, 2020.


2.     Will GaDOE allow greater flexibility with using McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) funding for activities such as extended learning for the summer?

Yes. If EHCY grantees have accounted for extended summer learning activities in the EHCY application, the EHCY continuation application or a written explanation connected to an approved budget amendment, EHCY grantee may use EHCY funds for extended summer learning activities.



3.     Will GaDOE allow McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) grantees to carryover FY20 funds into FY21?


Yes. Current EHCY grantees are part of a three-year grant cycle that began in FY19. Funds that are not obligated in the 15-month fiscal-year period may remain available for obligation in the succeeding fiscal year as carryover funds if the three-year grant cycle has not come to an end. Carryover may not be allowed at the end of the initial award period; therefore, carryover will not be allowed after FY21. 

4.     In order to prevent an equity gap, what advice or guidance can the GaDOE offer families experiencing homelessness and others who may not have access to the internet? Can McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) eligible students receive hot spots using EHCY grant funds? Does the GaDOE have advice suggestions for families if an LEA is offering online registration for the current year and FY21?


The GaDOE recommends that LEAs provide reasonable alternatives for families lacking internet access. The following checklist could be helpful:

·      Additional flexibility for deadlines and participation requirements,

·      Accommodations for highly mobile students, and

·      Accommodations for students who cannot participate in online learning opportunities due to homeless living situations, including those with disabilities or who are English Language Learners.

·      Identify and remove barriers that may prevent unaccompanied youth from participating fully in classes and school activities during remote learning (such as technology considerations and parental/ guardianship requirements).

·      Provide mobile hotspots and laptops/ tablets to shelters, motels, and directly to families and youth who are staying with other people.

·      Explore free or discounted internet access options and offers. Along others, the following internet companies have offered specials during the Covid-19 crisis: Spectrum, Comcast, Xfinity and Cox.

·      Conduct educational check-ins in person or virtually.

·      Start planning for when schools reopen, to support students in the reentry process to allow for a smooth transition back.

If the items above pose a funding challenge for LEAs serving children and youth experiencing homelessness, the McKinney-Vento act allows “Other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless students to attend school." This allowability could allow LEAs to use McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) grant funding or the Title I, Part A homeless set-aside if said expenditures are reasonable, necessary and part of an approved plan (e.g. CLIP, EHCY grant application). Use of these federal funds should be a last resort after other funding sources are explored and/or expended. LEAs should explore low cost or free options for these activities. An LEA that has a reasonable response to the items on the above, should be able to alleviate equity concerns.


5.     Many families experiencing homelessness have challenges providing childcare. Will the GaDOE provide any guidance on childcare for families during school closures due to COVID-19?


The GaDOE is charged with supporting the educational needs of children and youth; particularly those attending public school. Typically, childcare is outside of GaDOE's authority. The GaDOE recommends that families experiencing homelessness seek support from other agencies directly connected to providing childcare support such as Bright from the Start Georgia's Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Head Start, The Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS).


LEAs may also seek support of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which provides Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funds to local Continuums of Care for street outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention, and related services to persons experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless throughout the state. Agencies receiving ESG funds may also provide assistance for childcare.



6.     Will the GaDOE offer an extension for the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Continuation Application that was scheduled to be due Friday, April 24, 2020?


Yes. If EHCY grantees are not able to meet the Friday, April 24, 2020 deadline for the EHCY Continuation Report, EHCY grantees may choose to extend submission until Friday, July 31, 2020. Note that the EHCY Continuation Report must be approved prior to FY21 EHCY budget approval.



7.     Are there any other resources offered by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) Title IX, Part A McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program that can be helpful for local educational agencies (LEAs) to consider during the COVID-19 crisis?


LEAs should note the following resources that the GaDOE McKinney-Vento program will offer:

·      In collaboration with Georgia Connections Academy, the GaDOE will pre-record a webinar on Wednesday April 1, 2020 regarding Virtual Tips and Best Practices for Homeless Liaisons during COVIC-19.

·      MV Updates regarding Monitoring and Continuation Application and Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities (Mid-April) (Need to speak with WM)

·      Preparing FY21 MV Budgets for grantees only (May) (Need to speak with WM)

·      Web Series McKinney-Vento Modules for All MV Liaisons (Late April)

 In addition, LEAs may want to take advantage of School House Connections, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), National Center for Homeless Education  (NCHE) and U.S. Department of Education (U.S.ED) websites that could assist educators with professional development and frequent updates during COVID-19 from other States liaisons. 

·      NAEHCY – Click here

·      NCHE – Click here


In addition, Georgia Public TV offers educational instruction for free here. This resource is to ensure all kids have access to continued education while at home.



8.     Are there any uses of funds under the Title IX, Part A McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program that can be helpful for local educational agencies (LEAs) to consider during the COVID-19 crisis?


All LEAs should consider the use of the Title I, Part A Homeless Set-Aside to assist students experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. The established set-aside can fund activities that will allow full participation in school activities (e.g accommodations for students during distance learning periods, transportation assistance to central locations providing services such as meals, and items necessary for proper hygiene). Appropriate uses of Title I, Part A funds to provide items or services for students experiencing homelessness include, but are not limited to:

·      Items of clothing, particularly if necessary to meet a school's dress or uniform requirement;

·      Clothing and shoes necessary to participate in physical education classes;

·      Student fees that are necessary to participate in the general education program;

·      Personal school supplies such as backpacks and notebooks;

·      Birth certificates necessary to enroll in school;

·      Immunizations;

·      Food;

·      Medical and dental services;

·      Eyeglasses and hearing aids;

·      Counseling services to address anxiety related to homelessness that is impeding learning;

·      Outreach services to students living in shelters, motels, and other temporary residences;

·      Extended learning time (before and after school, Saturday classes, summer school) to compensate for lack of quiet time for homework in shelters or other overcrowded living conditions;

·      Tutoring services, especially in shelters or other locations where homeless students live;

·      Parental involvement specifically oriented to reaching out to parents of homeless students;

·      Fees for AP and IB testing;

·      Fees for college entrance exams such as SAT or ACT; and

·      GED testing for school-age students.

 LEAs that receive EHCY grant funds should assess the needs of students experiencing homelessness and provide assistance based on the allowability of the EHCY grant. In these times of uncertainty, LEAs receiving the EHCY grant may want to shift their focus to funding activities that provide extraordinary or emergency services needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities (42 USC 11433(d)). LEAs should also be cognizant of the continuation of identification during this time. Funds may be used to attract, engage, and retain homeless children and youths, particularly children and youth experiencing homelessness who are not enrolled in school, in public school programs and services provided to other children and youth (42 USC 11433(d)).


Allowable activities, materials and services should be described in an approved plan (e.g. application, CLIP, etc.) to be allocable. Additional resources to assist districts with responding to the needs of students experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis are accessible on the following websites:

·      US Department of Education – Click here

·      SchoolHouse Connection – Click here

·      US Interagency Council on Homelessness – Click here