COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 51
March 28, 2003
Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
This memorandum provides information about federal legislation related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness and contact information for technical assistance. Beginning in 1995, the Virginia Department of Education contracted with The College of William and Mary to administer the homeless education program funded by the federal McKinney Act. Dr. James H. Stronge, a professor in the School of Education, is the state coordinator. Project HOPE, the name adopted by Virginia's Homeless Education Office, is available to provide technical assistance in the area of homeless education to all school divisions. Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, director of Student Services, serves as the Department of Educations liaison with Project HOPE.
During the 1999-2000 school year in VirginiaProject HOPE estimated the number of preschool and school-age students who were homeless to exceed 17,000. These students were in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Anecdotal information since that time indicates this number probably has increased.
Recent federal legislation expands state and school division responsibilities to ensure these students have access to and meet with success in the public school system. Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, entitled the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, outline these requirements. Regardless of whether a locality receives direct McKinney-Vento subgrant funds, by accepting other federal funds through NCLB, such as Title I, the state and localities have assured coordination with McKinney-Vento. Attached is a summary of information and responsibilities for all school divisions (Attachment A). Additional details can be found by referring to the actual legislation, available at the Project HOPE Website or by contacting Project HOPE directly. Additional guidance from the United States Department of Education is anticipated soon. This information will be shared as soon as it is available.
Requests for technical support should be directed to:
The College of William and Mary
School of Education - Jones Hall 305
P. O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795
Attn: Patricia A. Popp, Ph.D.
Phone: (757) 221-4002, Toll free: (877) 455-3412
Fax: (757) 221-2988, TDD: (757) 221- 2302