East Lansing schools working to educate homeless children

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By Xin Wen
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

EAST LANSING — Kris Chapman, the director of special education for East Lansing schools, addressed the McKinney-Vento Act at a recent meeting of East Lansing Board of Education.

Chapman said the primary purpose of the act is to aid educational opportunities for students who have been through homelessness.

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“Children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence could ask for help and contact the program,” she said, “ The McKinney-Vento Act would assurance for educational stability to the homelessness like immediate enrollment, free breakfast and lunch, transportation, title services, clothing and school supplies such as backpacks.”

Chapman said students’ parents do not need to have the typical documentation that is usually required, such as vaccination records, to enroll immediately.

Chapman gave the examples of situations where children and youth fall within the M-V law.

“Children and youth who share housing due to the loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason, live in motels, hotels, trailer parks or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodation, live in emergency or transitional shelters or live in cars, parks, public spaces and abandon buildings, await foster care placement are all of the examples of situations,” she said.

The school district takes the responsibilities of a homeless liaison, facilitate access to school services including transportation, track homeless students and report annually and even reserve a portion of related funds.

Chapman said she cannot say how many people experience homelessness in Ingham County. But she said they are devoting resources to reduce the situation.

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