October 30, 2003, Extra Credit
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October 30, 2003
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 October 29
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By Cutting Red Tape, No Child Left Behind Helps States Reach Homeless Students

Following is an excerpt from a recent article by The Associated Press:

"Throughout Central Oregon, about 250 students are identified by local school districts as homeless.

"The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires that school districts give homeless children the same access to free public education as other students. Changes to that law under the federal No Child Left Behind Act require states to draft policies that remove the barriers to enrollment and attendance.

"Each district in the state must have a homeless education liaison to track down homeless families, get their children enrolled in school and in touch with people who can help parents find jobs and housing. It also requires school districts to provide transportation to students so that they can stay in the same school all year.

"The federal government paid Oregon about $450,000 last year for homeless education programs. Much of what the government wants done already was being done locally by the Family Access Network. It is a project sponsored by Bend-LaPine Public Schools and the Deschutes County Health Department to help get families in touch with social services.

"In years past, the difficulty in enrolling homeless students was cutting all the red tape. Parents needed vaccination records, birth documents and more paperwork before a school would officially enroll a child.

"Changes to the law have eased those requirements."

The U.S. Department of Education's "FY 2003 Draft Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program" is available online.


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013