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McKinney-Vento Compliance and Other Lessons from Litigation. Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty Maura McInerney, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center, PA Kate Frenzinger , Associate, DLA Piper LLP U.S.

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McKinney-Vento Compliance and Other Lessons from Litigation

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Mckinney vento compliance and other lessons from litigation

McKinney-Vento Compliance and Other Lessons from Litigation

Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

Maura McInerney, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center, PA

Kate Frenzinger, Associate, DLA Piper LLP U.S.


Road map

Road Map

  • Lessons Learned from Litigation

  • Resources to Help YOU Stay on the Right Side of the Law

  • Q&A with the Lawyers

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Common subjects of litigation

Common Subjects of Litigation

  • Refusal to enroll

  • Failure to grant automatic enrollment while dispute is being resolved

  • Failure to provide transportation

  • Failure to recognize and accommodate unaccompanied youth

  • Failure to accept appeals of enrollment decisions (“You’re not homeless, so you’re not entitled to appeal”)

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Lampkin v district of columbia

Lampkin v. District of Columbia

  • Complaint alleged that DC Public Schools failed to:

    • consider the best interests in making school placements;

    • ensure transportation to schools;

    • coordinate social services and public education; and

    • ensure comparable services and school meals for students

  • D.C. Circuit Court held that the McKinney-Vento created “enforceable rights”(i.e. individual families could bring legal actions against state agents for violating the Act)

  • DCPS ordered to identify children experiencing homelessness and refer them for all services required by the law, including transportation, within 72 hours of a family’s application for emergency shelter and provide tokens to all children who had to travel more than 1.5 miles to school.

  • Awarded $185,000 in attorney fees and costs

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Mckinney vento compliance and other lessons from litigation

Collier v. Board of Education of Prince George’s Countyand Bullock v. Board of Education of Montgomery County

Suburban school districts bordering on Washington, DC.

  • Collier concerned transportation, identification, school selection, dispute resolution, and inter-agency matters.

  • Bullock addressed rights of students in transitional housing; “time limits”on homelessness & segregation.

  • School districts agreed to settlements mandating broad reform measures from accommodating children awaiting foster placement, to publicizing the rights of homeless children, training school personnel to implement new forms and guidelines to identify and serve homeless children & provide timely transportation.

  • Attorneys fees: ranged from $195,000 to $300,000.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


National law center on homelessness poverty v new york state

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty v. New York State

  • Case alleged systemic noncompliance by the state education agency, state social services agency, 15 local educational agencies, and county social services with state and federal laws relating to the education of homeless children and youth.

  • School districts settled their portion of the case early in the proceedings; state and county social services moved to dismiss the case on ground that McKinney-Vento was not enforceable by parents; argument rejected by District Court.

  • Ultimately, all parties settled and agreed to comply with applicable state and federal laws relating to homeless students.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Kaleuati v tonda

Kaleuati v. Tonda

  • Class action lawsuit against State of Hawaii in District Court challenging McKinney-Vento Act violations & seeking to ensure that homeless children have full, meaningful access to public education.

  • Settlement agreement mandated: hiring, training & monitoring of district liaisons; improving identification practices and outreach to shelters and other providers; creating and distributing informational materials; developing a system for monitoring and recordkeeping; revising existing enrollment and release forms; reviewing and revising relevant administrative rules to remove barriers to attendance; consulting with parents and guardians; establishing a school bus route to accommodate residents of homeless shelters and beach parks; and improving dispute resolution procedures.

  • DOE was responsible for attorneys’ fees and costs: $185,000.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


A e v carlynton pde

A.E. v. Carlynton& PDE

  • Children slept in multiple school districts, rotating weekly so that children slept in 6 different school districts; Children denied enrollment in ALL districts on ground that they did not “live” in any.

  • Case settled, resulting in significant PA guidance re highly mobile students:

    • Children legally entitled to attend school where they have a “substantial connection” (e.g., daily living activities, day shelter, stay on recurring basis.)

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


L r v steelton highspire

L.R. v. Steelton-Highspire

  • Child resided with his grandmother and became homeless due to fire in Jan. 2009. Child was permitted to attend school until June but was refused enrollment the following school year.

  • Court granted emergency preliminary motion:

    • ordered school of origin to educate child;

    • immediate enrollment & pendency legally required under the Act;

    • dispute resolution process must be followed;

    • homelessness has no time limit.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


N j v state of new york eastern district of new york

N.J. v. State of New YorkEastern District of New York

  • Two children and single mother were forced out of their home by an abusive landlord; “doubled-up” children slept on a sofa.

  • District refused to recognize as homeless.

  • NYSED denied the family’s request for a stay pending the appeal.

  • Family sought a TRO and preliminary injunction to stay in school.

  • The Court granted the preliminary injunction, finding that NYSED’s denial of a stay pending the appeal violates the McKinney Vento Act, which requires that the child “shall immediately be admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute.” 42 U.S.C.§11432(g)(3)(E)(i).

  • The Court expressly held that the Act contemplates disputes about the status of the child as “homeless.”

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


C h v state of new york eastern district of new york

C.H. v. State of New YorkEastern District of New York

  • Two children (one severely autistic) and single father were forced out of their home by economic circumstances; the family “doubled-up” with a family member residing in a different school district.

  • The school district attempted to exclude the children, alleging that the family was not homeless.

  • The family appealed to the NYSED; the Department of Education denied the family’s request for a stay pending the appeal.

  • On the eve of the children’s expulsion, the family sought a TRO and preliminary injunction from the EDNY.

  • The Court granted a TRO, with a strong order. Family ultimately withdrew appeal and settled in new district.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Pridget v baltimore city district of maryland

Pridget v. Baltimore City District of Maryland

  • Families denied enrollment, timely transportation, mandatory uniforms, fee waivers for school activities.

  • The district provided immediate relief to named plaintiffs – the matter is pending on class relief.

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Project learn

Project LEARN

  • In 2011, DLA Piper and the Law Center partnered in 2011 to launch Project LEARN (Lawyers Education Access Resource Network).

  • More than 50 Project LEARN attorneys and paralegals from 20 DLA Piper offices across the country trained to provide resources, information and brief legal services to school personnel, homeless students and parents, and other advocates.

  • Project LEARN volunteers also are litigating cases where necessary to protect homeless students rights.

  • Contact 202-638-2535 for assistance

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Resources

Resources

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Resources1

Resources

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth -

http://www.naehcy.org

National Center on Homeless Education -

http://www.serve.org/nche

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty -

http://www.nlchp.org

National Network for Youth-

http://www.nn4youth.org

Horizons for Homeless Children -

http://www.horizonsforhomelesschildren.org

Education Law Center -

http://www.elc-pa.org/index.html

ELC-PA• www.elc-pa.org • NLCHP• www.nlchp.org • DLA Piper LLP (US) • www.dlapiper.com


Contact information

Contact Information

Kate Frenzinger, Senior Associate

DLA Piper LLP (US)

2525 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 1000

Phoenix, AZ 85016

480-606-5114

[email protected]

www.dlapiper.com/kate_frenzinger

www.dlapiperprobono.com

Maura McInerney, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Center

1315 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-238-6970 Ext. 316

[email protected]

www.elc-pa.org/

Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children’s Rights Programs,

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

2000 M St., NW, Ste. 210

Washington, DC 20036

202.638.2535

[email protected]

www.nlchp.org


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