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Student Support, Career & Education Services

Homeless Education Advisory 2007 - 10: Clarifying the Provision of Transportation Requirements for Homeless Students 2002 - 3

This update to the Department of Education Homeless Education Advisory 2002 – 3: School Selection and Transportation Requirements for Homeless Students is intended to answer questions the Department has received from districts regarding the implementation of the transportation provisions of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. It includes recent guidance from the United States Department of Education (USDOE).

  • Transportation of formerly homeless students - McKinney-Vento allows homeless students to continue their education in their schools of origin for the remainder of the academic year in which they become permanently housed to provide for school stability. However, federal guidelines allow for transportation only for students who are homeless. This means that McKinney-Vento does not require districts to continue to provide transportation to formerly homeless students. If a student becomes permanently housed and chooses to remain in the school of origin through the end of the year while residing in a different community, transportation is at the district's discretion.
  • Summer school - McKinney-Vento requires districts to provide transportation to homeless students during the academic school year and for programs, including summer programs, required by the district for the student to advance to the next grade (e.g. due to poor achievement). For optional summer school activities, districts should follow the comparable services provisions of McKinney-Vento. Homeless students must be eligible to attend summer school if it is provided to other students. In those cases, transportation, above and beyond that offered to other students during the summer, is not mandated for homeless students.
  • Use of federal funds to pay for transportation - School districts may not use funds under Title I, Part A or Title V, Part A to transport homeless students to or from their school of origin because such transportation services are mandated under McKinney-Vento. The supplanting provisions in Title I and Title V prohibit funds from being used to support activities that a district is required to provide. However, districts may use these funds to continue transporting formerly homeless students who choose to remain in their school of origin through the end of the year in order to maintain school stability.
  • Time/distance limitations - To the extent feasible, school districts must educate a homeless student in his or her school of origin; placement determinations should be an individualized, student-centered decision. Factors that a district may consider include the age of the student as well as the time and distance of the commute. The Department recommends that transportation not exceed one hour in one direction.
  • Special Education - Transportation costs of homeless students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) might be covered solely by Special Education or may be subject to the provisions of McKinney-Vento cost sharing:
    • If the IEP provides that the student requires transportation as a result of the disability, transportation is a related service and the cost is borne by the fiscally responsible district;
    • If the IEP notes that the student does not require transportation as a result of the disability, and that regular transportation will be provided in the same manner as it would be provided for students without disabilities, the McKinney-Vento cost sharing provisions will apply. However, if the student is placed at a private day school or a collaborative program that is not located in the local public school, the fiscally responsible district will be responsible for the costs of providing such transportation.
  • Communication - School districts need to implement policies and procedures to ensure that communication between the district of origin and the district of residence occur before homeless student transportation costs are incurred. The method for apportioning responsibility and costs for homeless student transportation should be agreed upon prior to the implementation of transportation; if there can be no agreement then the responsibility and costs must be shared equally.



Last Updated: August 27, 2007
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