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Homeless Education Program Dispute Resolution Guidelines and Appeals Process


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Dispute Resolution Policy Guidelines and Form

This document addresses requirements of 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(C) for resolving disputes applicable to the eligibility, enrollment, or school selection for homeless children and youth as covered by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (MKV).  As required by 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(C), schools must develop and implement written procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints alleging violations of law with regards to eligibility, school selection, or enrollment as covered by MKV (42 USC §11432(g)(3)(E)(i)).  A request for appeal or resolution of an enrollment or placement dispute shall be filed with the local educational agency (LEA) first.  If resolution is not reached at the LEA level, the request for appeal shall be escalated to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) after every effort has been made to resolve the issue through local written eligibility, enrollment, and school selection dispute resolution procedures or the timeline has expired for the LEA to respond.  OSSE’s Homeless Education State Coordinator will provide technical assistance to interested parties as requested and as necessary.

Notice of Right to Appeal

The Dispute Resolution Appeal Form is to be completed by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth when a dispute arises over enrollment, school selection, or transportation assistance eligibility. The information may be shared verbally with the local educational agency (LEA) Homeless Liaison instead of completing this form (the homeless liaison will document all verbal claims).  You may also contact the Homeless Education State Coordinator at (202) 654-6123, who will guide you through the appeal process. The appeal form, or information, must be submitted by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth within 15 calendar days after receipt of notification of denial of enrollment or services from the school or LEA.  

The LEA will have a maximum of 15 calendar days to review its initial decision upon receipt of a notice of appeal and make a final decision as to the position taken (i.e., whether it will continue to challenge the right of the student to be enrolled). If a dispute cannot be resolved at the LEA level, OSSE will make a determination of the appeal based upon the facts received and the MKV Act, and will notify the school, LEA, parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth in writing of the decision within 15 calendar days. Until OSSE makes a final decision regarding the appeal, the student will be allowed to attend the school of choice, and the school will provide transportation assistance and other McKinney-Vento eligible services upon request.

Dispute Resolution Policy Guidelines Update and Dispute Ineligibility Form

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (MKV), not all disagreements around eligibility, enrollment, or school selection are eligible for the dispute resolution process. This informational guide describes when a request for dispute resolution can and cannot be granted to a parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth in the District of Columbia.

The Dispute Ineligibility Form may be used to provide a written explanation to the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth in instances when a child or youth is not entitled to the dispute resolution process.


Related Content: Homeless Education Program