Compliance Review Requirement Overview
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program is required by the United States Department of Education (USDE), as authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Title IX, Part A – Homeless Children and Youths, Sec.722 (f)(5), to monitor all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure compliance with federal education regulations for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
USDE requires the following elements in the DPI EHCY program monitoring process:
- Technical assistance
- Review protocol, including interview questions
- Document the review with a written report of whether requirements were met or corrective actions are required
- A process for resolving required corrective actions and possible follow-up if LEAs need assistance with compliance
Compliance Review Guidance
DPI has produced McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Compliance Review Guidance and Requirements. This guidance is intended to provide technical assistance to LEAs by outlining the compliance review protocol, including legal citations for requirements under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and providing guiding questions to assist LEAs when submitting documentation for the compliance review.
Annual Monitoring Schedule
EHCY program staff annually notify Wisconsin LEAs that are scheduled to receive formal visits and remote compliance reviews. Monitoring includes grant-funded and non-funded LEAs. Every LEA must be able to produce documentation that adequately demonstrates compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act. DPI remotely reviews approximately 25 LEAs annually for compliance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act. This map shows which Wisconsin LEAs have been monitored for compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act since the 2006-07 school year.
With the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, there are important changes Wisconsin school districts and homeless liaisons should be aware of when reviewing and revising district policies and procedures. The following resources outline the amendments to the law that should be addressed locally in order to remain in compliance.
- National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) ESSA page
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) ESSA page
- McKinney-Vento Act Summary, SchoolHouse Connection
- Video: Amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act presented by DPI
- Video: Wisconsin McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison Webinar presented by DPI
- Webinar for Wisconsin Homeless Liaisons presented by Patricia Julianelle of NAEHCY
Key Changes in the Reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act:
- Policy and Procedure Review: All local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to review and revise policies to remove barriers to the identification, enrollment, retention, attendance, full participation in academic and extracurricular activities, and academic success of homeless children and youth. LEAs must also remove barriers that prevent students from receiving appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a prior school. Appropriate staff members and school boards should review and propose revisions to any policies or procedures that act as barriers.
- Awaiting Foster Care Placement: LEAs must revise training documents, webpages, public notices, policies, procedures, etc. to remove the phrase “awaiting foster care placement” from the definition of homeless children and youth. The phrase “awaiting foster care placement” was removed from the McKinney-Vento Act as amended by ESSA. DPI’s Out of Home Care page includes more information regarding students in out-of-home care (foster care).
- School Stability and Transportation: LEAs must revise policies and procedures including information that is given to parents and guardians of children and youth and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness to include that when a student obtains permanent housing, transportation must be provided to and from the school of origin, including a preschool, until the end of the academic year. Please note the term “school of origin” now includes preschools and the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.
- Privacy: LEAs must treat information about a homeless child’s or youth’s living situation as a student education record, subject to all the protections of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Student record policies and procedures must be updated accordingly and this practice must be communicated to all appropriate staff members. More on data privacy is available on the Resources for Student Data Privacy page.