Homeless Student Transportation

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

When students become homeless, it is important to provide academic and social stability by allowing them to remain in their original school. To pursue this goal the federal McKinney-Vento Act helps homeless students remain enrolled in the original school they attended before becoming homeless. The state Homeless Student Transportation program helps cover the local costs of transportation of homeless students between cities and towns.

When a family becomes homeless, they have the option to keep their student enrolled at their previous school or to move them to a new district where they are sheltered temporarily. In either case, homeless students are guaranteed the same transportation services as their peers.

Changing schools is an additional barrier to academic and social progress for homeless students on top of housing and family instability. Students who move between schools have lower academic achievement than peers who attend a school consistently. It is important to note that state funding for homeless student transportation may not fully cover the costs incurred by districts, leaving local cities and towns to cover any remaining transportation costs.

In addition to providing transportation, the McKinney-Vento Act requires that the state and local school districts to have staff responsible for homeless student services. McKinney-Vento also provides funding to implement these supports. Coordinators of homeless student supports at the state and district level are tasked with connecting homeless families and their students to programs, including tutoring, after-school programs, and counseling.

The FY 2015 budget shifted funding for Homeless Student Transportation into a new line item (to 7035-0008 from 7035-0005).

Updated January 2016

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