McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program, 14432-14436 [2016-06073]

Download as PDF 14432 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 52 / Thursday, March 17, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Jordan—Repair and Return of F–16 Engines, Sustainment and Support asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES POLICY JUSTIFICATION [Docket No.: ED–2016–ICCD–0029] The Government of Jordan has requested approval to amend its F–16 engine program for repair and return of its F100–PW–220E engine modules. This effort is in support of the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s ongoing scheduled maintenance activities for its 52 F100–PW–220E engines. Services requested under this proposed sale include contract support for parts, components, accessories, and labor to remanufacture the current propulsion fleet at scheduled maintenance intervals. There is no Major Defense Equipment associated with this case. The overall total estimated value is $115.1 million. The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. Jordan is a key partner in the coalition working together to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) forces. This engine and sustainment program will maintain Jordan’s fighter aircraft capabilities and support its national defense. Jordan will have no difficulty absorbing this support. The proposed sale of this equipment, services, and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. Jordan has accounted for the cost of engine sustainment in its budget over the course of multiple years. The prime contractor will be Pratt and Whitney, East Hartford, Connecticut. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will entail periodic Program Management Reviews in the United States or Jordan. There are no additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives anticipated to be stationed in Jordan as a result of this potential sale. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. [FR Doc. 2016–06010 Filed 3–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Mar 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Foreign Graduate Medical School Consumer Information Reporting Form Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 16, 2016. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED– 2016–ICCD–0029. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E–103, Washington, DC 20202–4537. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202–377–4018. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Foreign Graduate Medical School Consumer Information Reporting Form. OMB Control Number: 1845–0117. Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 28. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 448. Abstract: This is a request for a renewal of the information collection to obtain consumer information from foreign graduate medical institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program. The form is used for reporting specific graduation information to the Department of Education in accordance with 34 CFR 668.14(b)(7). This is done to improve consumer information available to prospective U.S. medical student interested in foreign medical institutions. Dated: March 14, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management. [FR Doc. 2016–06005 Filed 3–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Secretary issues guidelines for States related to requirements under the McKinneyVento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These guidelines address ways in which SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 52 / Thursday, March 17, 2016 / Notices a State may (1) assist local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement the provisions related to homeless children and youths amended by the ESSA and (2) review and revise policies and procedures that may present barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youths in school. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John McLaughlin, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202–6132. Telephone: (202) 401–0962 or by email: john.mclaughlin@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Background Section 724(g) of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the ESSA (Pub. L. 114–95), requires the Secretary to develop, issue, and publish in the Federal Register guidelines concerning ways in which a State: (1) May assist LEAs to implement the provisions related to homeless children and youths amended by the ESSA and (2) may review and revise policies and procedures that may present barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youths in school. Under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department) Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that homeless children and youths have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as is provided to other children and youths. The SEA and LEAs in the State must review and revise any laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youths. LEAs and schools may not separate homeless students from the mainstream school environment on the basis of their homelessness. Homeless students must also have access to the education and other services that they need to meet the same challenging State academic standards to which all students are held. (Section 721 of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the ESSA). Following reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (Pub. L. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Mar 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 107–110), the Secretary published a notice in the Federal Register on March 8, 2002 (67 FR 10697), that provided detailed guidelines to help States expedite the school enrollment of homeless children and youths. These guidelines included a review of statutory enrollment provisions related to both SEA and LEA responsibilities and concluded with a discussion of ways in which States have assisted, or may assist, LEAs in immediately enrolling students experiencing homelessness in schools. Since the McKinney-Vento Act was last reauthorized under NCLB, SEAs and LEAs have made great strides in revising policies that posed barriers to the enrollment and success of homeless children and youths. The ESSA provides a new opportunity for States to review these policies and procedures to address continued barriers to homeless student success, as well as to review and refine policies related to new or changed provisions in the law. II. Definitions Section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the ESSA, defines the following terms: (a) Homeless children and youths means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes— (1) Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals. (2) Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. (3) Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and (4) Migratory children (as defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended), who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described in this definition. (b) Enroll and enrollment include attending classes and participating fully in school activities. (c) Unaccompanied youth includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14433 III. Changes to the EHCY Program Under the ESSA The ESSA amended a number of key provisions under the EHCY program. Significant changes affect the following areas of the EHCY program: (1) State Plans State plan requirements have been modified and must include: (a) A description of procedures to ensure (i) that homeless children and youths separated from public schools are identified and accorded equal access to appropriate secondary education and support services, including by identifying and removing barriers that prevent youths described in this clause from receiving appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a prior school, in accordance with State, local, and school policies and (ii) that homeless children and youths who meet the relevant eligibility criteria do not face barriers to accessing academic and extracurricular activities, including magnet school, summer school, career and technical education, advanced placement, online learning, and charter school programs, if such programs are available at the State and local levels. (Section 722(g)(1)(F)(ii–iii)). (b) A demonstration that SEAs and LEAs have developed polices to remove barriers to the identification, enrollment, and retention of homeless children and youths, including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences. (Section 722(g)(1)(I)). (c) An assurance that SEAs and LEAs will adopt policies and practices to ensure that LEA liaisons participate in professional development and other technical assistance activities provided by the State Office of the Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths (Office of the Coordinator). (Section 722(g)(1)(J)(iv)). (d) A description of how homeless children and youths will receive assistance from counselors to advise such youths, and prepare and improve the readiness of such youths for college. (Section 722(g)(1)(K)). (2) Functions of the Office of the Coordinator The statute now requires the State Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths (State Coordinator) to: (a) Make publicly available reliable, valid, and comprehensive information on (i) the number of homeless children and youths identified in the State, which must be posted annually on the E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 14434 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 52 / Thursday, March 17, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES State’s Web site, and (ii) the difficulties in identifying the special needs of and barriers to the participation and achievement of homeless children and youths. (Section 722(f)(1)(A) & (C)). (b) Conduct monitoring of LEAs. (Section 722(f)(5)). (c) Provide professional development opportunities for LEA personnel, including the LEA liaison for homeless children and youths (LEA liaison), to assist these personnel in identifying and meeting the needs of homeless children and youths and provide training on the Federal definitions of terms related to homelessness. (Section 722(f)(6)). (d) Respond to inquiries from parents and guardians of homeless children and youths, as well as unaccompanied homeless youths, to ensure that they receive the protections and services required by the McKinney-Vento Act. (Section 722(f)(7)). (e) In conjunction with LEA liaisons, inform parents and guardians of homeless children and youths, as well as unaccompanied homeless youths, of the duties of LEA liaisons and publish an annually updated list of LEA liaisons on the SEA’s Web site. (Section 722(g)(6)(B)). (3) Duties of LEA Liaisons The statute now requires LEA liaisons for homeless children and youths to: (a) Ensure that school personnel providing services under the McKinneyVento Act receive professional development and other support. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(ix)). (b) Ensure that unaccompanied homeless youths (i) are enrolled in school, (ii) have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as other children and youths, and (iii) are informed of their status as independent students under the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that they may obtain assistance from the LEA liaison to receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(x)). (c) Ensure that public notice of the educational rights of the homeless children and youths is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such youth, and unaccompanied homeless youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form that is understandable. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(vi)). In addition, LEA liaisons who receive appropriate training may now affirm that a child or youth who is eligible for and participating in a program provided by the LEA, or the immediate family of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Mar 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 such a child or youth, is eligible for homeless assistance programs administered under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act. (Section 722(g)(6)(D)). (4) School Stability The statute has modified the requirements governing ‘‘best interest’’ determinations to include the following: (a) The LEA must presume that keeping a homeless child or youth in the school of origin is in the child’s or youth’s best interest unless doing so is contrary to the request of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth. (Section 722(g)(3)(B)(i)). (b) The LEA must consider studentcentered factors related to a child’s or youth’s best interest, giving priority to the request of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth. (Section 722(g)(3)(B)(ii)). (c) If the LEA determines that it is not in a child’s or youth’s best interest to attend the school of origin, or the school requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, it must provide a written explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner and form that is understandable. (Section 722(g)(3)(B)(iii)). (5) Immediate Enrollment The ESSA now requires that a school selected based on a homeless child’s or youth’s best interest must immediately enroll such child or youth even if he or she has missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness. (Section 722(g)(3)(C)(i)(II)). (6) Enrollment Disputes The enrollment dispute procedures now encompass eligibility and the protections in those procedures have been clarified. For example, the Office of the State Coordinator now has an explicit duty to respond to inquiries from the parents and guardians of homeless children and youths, which may include eligibility disputes. (Section 722(f)(7)). In addition, if a dispute arises over eligibility, the child or youth shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals. (Section 722(g)(3)(E)). (7) School of Origin The definition of ‘‘school of origin’’ now specifically includes preschools and, when a child or youth completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, it also includes the PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools. (Section 722(g)(3)(I)). (8) Privacy The law now specifies that information about a homeless child’s or youth’s living situation shall be treated as a student education record, and shall not be deemed to be directory information. (Section 722(g)(3)(G)). (9) Definition of Homeless Children and Youth The definition no longer includes ‘‘awaiting foster care placement.’’ The deletion of ‘‘awaiting foster care placement’’ goes into effect on December 10, 2016, in every State except Delaware and Nevada, where the deletion is effective on December 10, 2017. (Section 725(2)(B)(i)). IV. Guidelines for States on Assisting LEAs With the Implementation of EHCY Provisions Amended by the ESSA A. State Responsibilities in Assisting LEAs In its State plan, an SEA must assure that every LEA in the State designates an appropriate staff person to serve as a LEA liaison. (Section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii)). The LEA liaison will help ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the schools of that LEA. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(ii)). The State Coordinator in each State must, among other things, provide technical assistance to, and conduct monitoring of, LEAs in coordination with LEA liaisons, to ensure that LEAs comply with EHCY program requirements. (Section 722(f)(5)). As described more fully above, State Coordinators also are responsible for providing professional development opportunities for LEA liaisons and other personnel to assist them in carrying out EHCY program requirements. (Section 722(f)(6)). Because the protections afforded to homeless children and youths apply regardless of whether an LEA receives a McKinney-Vento Act subgrant, the State Coordinator must ensure that technical assistance and professional development opportunities are provided to all LEAs. Through strong leadership, collaboration, and communication with LEA liaisons, the State Coordinator can help ensure that LEAs are aware of, understand, and can successfully implement the changes to the EHCY program under the ESSA. Establishing clear-cut policies and procedures at the State level, and making sure LEAs understand them, will facilitate a E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 52 / Thursday, March 17, 2016 / Notices smooth transition to and implementation of new and revised EHCY program requirements. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES B. State Activities That Can Be Effective for Assisting LEAs in Implementing the Provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act, as Amended by the ESSA States have many options for ensuring that all LEA liaisons and LEAs receive training and information on changes to the EHCY program resulting from enactment of the ESSA. As previously shared in past guidance and technical assistance, we encourage SEAs to prepare and disseminate to their LEAs and schools memoranda, guidance documents, notices, or letters summarizing the new and existing EHCY program requirements and to share with them guidance provided by the Department. In doing so, we encourage States to use all available technology, such as email notices, listservs, the SEA Web site, Statewide hotlines, and teleconferencing. Additional State activities that may assist LEAs in implementing the law include: (1) Hosting Statewide Trainings and Orientations, Especially for New LEA Liaisons States can implement a system to ensure that every LEA liaison receives annual professional development on the provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act and good practices for implementation. States should require LEAs to notify the State Coordinator whenever a new LEA liaison is appointed so that the State Coordinator can provide or arrange small group or individually customized orientations with resources and support to equip new liaisons to fulfill their role effectively. Furthermore, the State Coordinator should ensure that all LEA liaisons receive ongoing information and professional development on challenging areas of implementation, including determining eligibility, determining best interest for school selection, and facilitating the dispute resolution process. States should investigate ways to assess LEA liaison competency and knowledge of LEA requirements and obligations under the McKinney-Vento Act. States may want to include other education personnel, as appropriate, in such training. (2) Disseminating Templates, Forms, and Policies States can provide sample forms, checklists, and other information on effective practices and procedures that may be implemented related to new and continuing statutory provisions under the EHCY program. SEAs can also VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Mar 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 provide samples of local Memoranda of Agreement that LEAs may utilize for coordination with local housing and social service agencies. (3) Hosting and Encouraging Meetings and Convenings States should provide networking opportunities for LEA liaisons through venues such as State or regional meetings, including homeless education strands of statewide Federal education or vulnerable student programs, as well as periodic conference calls or online meetings such as Webinars. These opportunities can provide LEA liaisons with direct access to and collaboration with the State Coordinator, colleagues in other LEAs, and useful resources. These may also provide opportunities to connect to and coordinate with contacts at other homeless-serving agencies and local programs. V. Guidelines for Reviewing and Revising State Policies and Procedures Section 722(g)(1)(I) requires, in the State Plan, a demonstration that the State educational agency and local educational agencies in the State have developed, and shall review and revise, policies to remove barriers to the identification of homeless children and youths, and the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in schools in the State, including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences. The following are examples of effective ways in which a State may review and revise State policies and procedures that may present barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youths: (1) Convening a Statewide Advisory Committee To Review State Policies and Procedures An SEA may form a broad-based committee of experts and stakeholders to review relevant State policies and procedures affecting homeless children and youths and provide input on changes that may be needed. Such a committee could include representatives of the State coordinator’s office; other SEA officials, including transportation officials; representatives from other State agencies, including public health and social services agencies; LEA officials, including LEA liaisons; legislative staff; homeless families and youths; and advocacy groups. The committee should review State laws, rules, regulations, letters, memoranda, and guidance documents to ensure that the State’s policies comply with the requirements PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14435 of the McKinney-Vento Act. The committee should pay particular attention to issues concerning transportation policies; student records and record-transfer requirements; enrollment of unaccompanied youths, including guardianship requirements; procedures for resolving enrollment disputes; and barriers resulting from school-related fees or school uniform policies. (2) Soliciting Public Comment A State may use a public comment process to solicit input on policies and procedures that should be revised to remove barriers to homeless children and youths’ identification, enrollment, attendance, and school success. This process can include public hearings and meetings as well as the online submission of comments. This process could include sharing and analyzing existing EHCY data and conducting a survey of LEA liaisons and homeless youth and families. The SEA should engage specific stakeholder groups, including homeless children and youths and their families, to encourage them to provide comment. This process can be reopened biennially or annually as a request for information. (3) Consulting With the Federal EHCY Program Office’s Technical Assistance Contractor, the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), and Participating in Facilitated Peer Workgroups The Federal EHCY program office and NCHE will work with State coordinators to disseminate information on innovative policies and approaches to implementation from across the country so that State Coordinators can learn from each other to improve statewide policy and practice. States may convene and/or join ad-hoc topical workgroups or a regular community of practice, as well as access more general Webinars and written advice, for crafting comprehensive State plans. NCHE will also facilitate the peer review of State plans and create ways to disseminate exemplary policies and practices after plans have been approved by the Department. (4) Ensuring Sufficient Capacity in its Office of the Coordinator Ensuring the Office of the Coordinator has sufficient capacity is critical to facilitating an effective review of policies and procedures. This review is essential for (1) developing State plans, (2) providing for the professional development of LEA liaisons, and (3) providing for technical assistance to LEA liaisons. Beyond the development E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1 14436 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 52 / Thursday, March 17, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES of the State plan, the Office of the Coordinator should be able to analyze LEA data on enrollment or other demographic information for patterns of possible under-identification of homeless children and youths or subgroups across the State. Such underidentification may necessitate the revision of policies and procedures. As previously communicated by the Department in 2014 and 2015, for FY 2016 and FY 2017, the Office of the Coordinator should have the capacity to create annual work plans with measurable goals to improve identification, enrollment, attendance, achievement, and graduation for homeless students. Creating such annual work plans and setting measureable goals are elements included in the Federal EHCY program logic model. These elements are also part of the program leading indicators developed in 2014, with baseline implementation beginning in FY 2015 and further technical assistance coming from NCHE. Engagement in these activities affords the Office of the Coordinator an opportunity to revisit and revise, as appropriate, policies and procedures. VI. Future Guidance In light of the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act under the ESSA, the Department is in the process of reviewing current guidance on the EHCY program and anticipates issuing updated guidance at a future date. General guidance, an email address to submit questions, and other information on ESSA is available online at: www.ed.gov/ESSA. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities may obtain this notice in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to this Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Mar 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Program Authority: Subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (Pub. L. 114–95). Dated: March 14, 2016. Ann Whalen, Senior Advisor to the Secretary Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 2016–06073 Filed 3–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link and is available for review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an ‘‘eSubscription’’ link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on April 11, 2016. [Docket Nos. EL16–43–000; QF16–259–001] Dated: March 11, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. Bright Light Capital, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order [FR Doc. 2016–06023 Filed 3–16–16; 8:45 am] Take notice that on March 3, 2016, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2015), Bright Light Capital, LLC (Bright Light or Petitioner), filed a petition for declaratory order (petition) requesting the Commission grant Bright Light a limited waiver of the qualifying facility certification requirement set forth in 18 CFR 292.203(a)(3) (2015) for the period of April 15, 2006 through December 21, 2015. As part of that waiver, Bright Light requests that the Commission find that a time value refund is not required under the specific facts-andcircumstances of this case, as more fully explained in the petition. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Tennessee Gas Pipeline, L.L.C.; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Broad Run Expansion Project The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Broad Run Expansion Project (Project), proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline, L.L.C. (Tennessee) in the abovereferenced docket. Tennessee requests authorization and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct new compressor stations and replace compression facilities in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The purpose of the Project is to provide an additional 200,000 dekatherms per day of firm incremental transportation service and to replace older, less efficient compression facilities with new, more efficient compression facilities. The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Broad Run Expansion Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action E:\FR\FM\17MRN1.SGM 17MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 52 (Thursday, March 17, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14432-14436]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06073]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Secretary issues guidelines for States related to 
requirements under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act 
(McKinney-Vento Act), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act 
(ESSA). These guidelines address ways in which

[[Page 14433]]

a State may (1) assist local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement 
the provisions related to homeless children and youths amended by the 
ESSA and (2) review and revise policies and procedures that may present 
barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of 
homeless children and youths in school.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John McLaughlin, Office of Elementary 
and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 401-0962 or by 
email: john.mclaughlin@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text 
telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Section 724(g) of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the ESSA 
(Pub. L. 114-95), requires the Secretary to develop, issue, and publish 
in the Federal Register guidelines concerning ways in which a State: 
(1) May assist LEAs to implement the provisions related to homeless 
children and youths amended by the ESSA and (2) may review and revise 
policies and procedures that may present barriers to the 
identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless 
children and youths in school.
    Under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth 
(EHCY) program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of 
Education's (the Department) Office of Elementary and Secondary 
Education, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that homeless 
children and youths have equal access to the same free, appropriate 
public education, including a public preschool education, as is 
provided to other children and youths. The SEA and LEAs in the State 
must review and revise any laws, regulations, practices, or policies 
that may act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, 
or success in school of homeless children and youths. LEAs and schools 
may not separate homeless students from the mainstream school 
environment on the basis of their homelessness. Homeless students must 
also have access to the education and other services that they need to 
meet the same challenging State academic standards to which all 
students are held. (Section 721 of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended 
by the ESSA).
    Following reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act by the No Child 
Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (Pub. L. 107-110), the Secretary 
published a notice in the Federal Register on March 8, 2002 (67 FR 
10697), that provided detailed guidelines to help States expedite the 
school enrollment of homeless children and youths. These guidelines 
included a review of statutory enrollment provisions related to both 
SEA and LEA responsibilities and concluded with a discussion of ways in 
which States have assisted, or may assist, LEAs in immediately 
enrolling students experiencing homelessness in schools.
    Since the McKinney-Vento Act was last reauthorized under NCLB, SEAs 
and LEAs have made great strides in revising policies that posed 
barriers to the enrollment and success of homeless children and youths. 
The ESSA provides a new opportunity for States to review these policies 
and procedures to address continued barriers to homeless student 
success, as well as to review and refine policies related to new or 
changed provisions in the law.

II. Definitions

    Section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the ESSA, 
defines the following terms:
    (a) Homeless children and youths means individuals who lack a 
fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes--
    (1) Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other 
persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; 
are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to 
the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in 
emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.
    (2) Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that 
is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a 
regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
    (3) Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public 
spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train 
stations, or similar settings; and
    (4) Migratory children (as defined in section 1309 of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended), who 
qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described 
in this definition.
    (b) Enroll and enrollment include attending classes and 
participating fully in school activities.
    (c) Unaccompanied youth includes a homeless child or youth not in 
the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

III. Changes to the EHCY Program Under the ESSA

    The ESSA amended a number of key provisions under the EHCY program. 
Significant changes affect the following areas of the EHCY program:

(1) State Plans

    State plan requirements have been modified and must include:
    (a) A description of procedures to ensure (i) that homeless 
children and youths separated from public schools are identified and 
accorded equal access to appropriate secondary education and support 
services, including by identifying and removing barriers that prevent 
youths described in this clause from receiving appropriate credit for 
full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a 
prior school, in accordance with State, local, and school policies and 
(ii) that homeless children and youths who meet the relevant 
eligibility criteria do not face barriers to accessing academic and 
extracurricular activities, including magnet school, summer school, 
career and technical education, advanced placement, online learning, 
and charter school programs, if such programs are available at the 
State and local levels. (Section 722(g)(1)(F)(ii-iii)).
    (b) A demonstration that SEAs and LEAs have developed polices to 
remove barriers to the identification, enrollment, and retention of 
homeless children and youths, including barriers to enrollment and 
retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences. (Section 
722(g)(1)(I)).
    (c) An assurance that SEAs and LEAs will adopt policies and 
practices to ensure that LEA liaisons participate in professional 
development and other technical assistance activities provided by the 
State Office of the Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and 
Youths (Office of the Coordinator). (Section 722(g)(1)(J)(iv)).
    (d) A description of how homeless children and youths will receive 
assistance from counselors to advise such youths, and prepare and 
improve the readiness of such youths for college. (Section 
722(g)(1)(K)).

 (2) Functions of the Office of the Coordinator

    The statute now requires the State Coordinator for Education of 
Homeless Children and Youths (State Coordinator) to:
    (a) Make publicly available reliable, valid, and comprehensive 
information on (i) the number of homeless children and youths 
identified in the State, which must be posted annually on the

[[Page 14434]]

State's Web site, and (ii) the difficulties in identifying the special 
needs of and barriers to the participation and achievement of homeless 
children and youths. (Section 722(f)(1)(A) & (C)).
    (b) Conduct monitoring of LEAs. (Section 722(f)(5)).
    (c) Provide professional development opportunities for LEA 
personnel, including the LEA liaison for homeless children and youths 
(LEA liaison), to assist these personnel in identifying and meeting the 
needs of homeless children and youths and provide training on the 
Federal definitions of terms related to homelessness. (Section 
722(f)(6)).
    (d) Respond to inquiries from parents and guardians of homeless 
children and youths, as well as unaccompanied homeless youths, to 
ensure that they receive the protections and services required by the 
McKinney-Vento Act. (Section 722(f)(7)).
    (e) In conjunction with LEA liaisons, inform parents and guardians 
of homeless children and youths, as well as unaccompanied homeless 
youths, of the duties of LEA liaisons and publish an annually updated 
list of LEA liaisons on the SEA's Web site. (Section 722(g)(6)(B)).

(3) Duties of LEA Liaisons

    The statute now requires LEA liaisons for homeless children and 
youths to:
    (a) Ensure that school personnel providing services under the 
McKinney-Vento Act receive professional development and other support. 
(Section 722(g)(6)(A)(ix)).
    (b) Ensure that unaccompanied homeless youths (i) are enrolled in 
school, (ii) have opportunities to meet the same challenging State 
academic standards as other children and youths, and (iii) are informed 
of their status as independent students under the Higher Education Act 
of 1965 and that they may obtain assistance from the LEA liaison to 
receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(x)).
    (c) Ensure that public notice of the educational rights of the 
homeless children and youths is disseminated in locations frequented by 
parents or guardians of such youth, and unaccompanied homeless youths, 
including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a 
manner and form that is understandable. (Section 722(g)(6)(A)(vi)).
    In addition, LEA liaisons who receive appropriate training may now 
affirm that a child or youth who is eligible for and participating in a 
program provided by the LEA, or the immediate family of such a child or 
youth, is eligible for homeless assistance programs administered under 
Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act. (Section 722(g)(6)(D)).

(4) School Stability

    The statute has modified the requirements governing ``best 
interest'' determinations to include the following:
    (a) The LEA must presume that keeping a homeless child or youth in 
the school of origin is in the child's or youth's best interest unless 
doing so is contrary to the request of the child's or youth's parent or 
guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth. 
(Section 722(g)(3)(B)(i)).
    (b) The LEA must consider student-centered factors related to a 
child's or youth's best interest, giving priority to the request of the 
child's or youth's parent or guardian, or (in the case of an 
unaccompanied youth) the youth. (Section 722(g)(3)(B)(ii)).
    (c) If the LEA determines that it is not in a child's or youth's 
best interest to attend the school of origin, or the school requested 
by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, it must provide a 
written explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner 
and form that is understandable. (Section 722(g)(3)(B)(iii)).

(5) Immediate Enrollment

    The ESSA now requires that a school selected based on a homeless 
child's or youth's best interest must immediately enroll such child or 
youth even if he or she has missed application or enrollment deadlines 
during any period of homelessness. (Section 722(g)(3)(C)(i)(II)).

 (6) Enrollment Disputes

    The enrollment dispute procedures now encompass eligibility and the 
protections in those procedures have been clarified. For example, the 
Office of the State Coordinator now has an explicit duty to respond to 
inquiries from the parents and guardians of homeless children and 
youths, which may include eligibility disputes. (Section 722(f)(7)). In 
addition, if a dispute arises over eligibility, the child or youth 
shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is 
sought, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all 
available appeals. (Section 722(g)(3)(E)).

 (7) School of Origin

    The definition of ``school of origin'' now specifically includes 
preschools and, when a child or youth completes the final grade level 
served by the school of origin, it also includes the designated 
receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools. 
(Section 722(g)(3)(I)).

(8) Privacy

    The law now specifies that information about a homeless child's or 
youth's living situation shall be treated as a student education 
record, and shall not be deemed to be directory information. (Section 
722(g)(3)(G)).

(9) Definition of Homeless Children and Youth

    The definition no longer includes ``awaiting foster care 
placement.'' The deletion of ``awaiting foster care placement'' goes 
into effect on December 10, 2016, in every State except Delaware and 
Nevada, where the deletion is effective on December 10, 2017. (Section 
725(2)(B)(i)).

IV. Guidelines for States on Assisting LEAs With the Implementation of 
EHCY Provisions Amended by the ESSA

A. State Responsibilities in Assisting LEAs

    In its State plan, an SEA must assure that every LEA in the State 
designates an appropriate staff person to serve as a LEA liaison. 
(Section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii)). The LEA liaison will help ensure that 
homeless children and youths enroll in, and have a full and equal 
opportunity to succeed in, the schools of that LEA. (Section 
722(g)(6)(A)(ii)).
    The State Coordinator in each State must, among other things, 
provide technical assistance to, and conduct monitoring of, LEAs in 
coordination with LEA liaisons, to ensure that LEAs comply with EHCY 
program requirements. (Section 722(f)(5)). As described more fully 
above, State Coordinators also are responsible for providing 
professional development opportunities for LEA liaisons and other 
personnel to assist them in carrying out EHCY program requirements. 
(Section 722(f)(6)). Because the protections afforded to homeless 
children and youths apply regardless of whether an LEA receives a 
McKinney-Vento Act subgrant, the State Coordinator must ensure that 
technical assistance and professional development opportunities are 
provided to all LEAs.
    Through strong leadership, collaboration, and communication with 
LEA liaisons, the State Coordinator can help ensure that LEAs are aware 
of, understand, and can successfully implement the changes to the EHCY 
program under the ESSA. Establishing clear-cut policies and procedures 
at the State level, and making sure LEAs understand them, will 
facilitate a

[[Page 14435]]

smooth transition to and implementation of new and revised EHCY program 
requirements.

B. State Activities That Can Be Effective for Assisting LEAs in 
Implementing the Provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act, as Amended by 
the ESSA

    States have many options for ensuring that all LEA liaisons and 
LEAs receive training and information on changes to the EHCY program 
resulting from enactment of the ESSA. As previously shared in past 
guidance and technical assistance, we encourage SEAs to prepare and 
disseminate to their LEAs and schools memoranda, guidance documents, 
notices, or letters summarizing the new and existing EHCY program 
requirements and to share with them guidance provided by the 
Department. In doing so, we encourage States to use all available 
technology, such as email notices, listservs, the SEA Web site, 
Statewide hotlines, and teleconferencing. Additional State activities 
that may assist LEAs in implementing the law include:

 (1) Hosting Statewide Trainings and Orientations, Especially for New 
LEA Liaisons

    States can implement a system to ensure that every LEA liaison 
receives annual professional development on the provisions in the 
McKinney-Vento Act and good practices for implementation. States should 
require LEAs to notify the State Coordinator whenever a new LEA liaison 
is appointed so that the State Coordinator can provide or arrange small 
group or individually customized orientations with resources and 
support to equip new liaisons to fulfill their role effectively. 
Furthermore, the State Coordinator should ensure that all LEA liaisons 
receive ongoing information and professional development on challenging 
areas of implementation, including determining eligibility, determining 
best interest for school selection, and facilitating the dispute 
resolution process. States should investigate ways to assess LEA 
liaison competency and knowledge of LEA requirements and obligations 
under the McKinney-Vento Act. States may want to include other 
education personnel, as appropriate, in such training.

(2) Disseminating Templates, Forms, and Policies

    States can provide sample forms, checklists, and other information 
on effective practices and procedures that may be implemented related 
to new and continuing statutory provisions under the EHCY program. SEAs 
can also provide samples of local Memoranda of Agreement that LEAs may 
utilize for coordination with local housing and social service 
agencies.

 (3) Hosting and Encouraging Meetings and Convenings

    States should provide networking opportunities for LEA liaisons 
through venues such as State or regional meetings, including homeless 
education strands of statewide Federal education or vulnerable student 
programs, as well as periodic conference calls or online meetings such 
as Webinars. These opportunities can provide LEA liaisons with direct 
access to and collaboration with the State Coordinator, colleagues in 
other LEAs, and useful resources. These may also provide opportunities 
to connect to and coordinate with contacts at other homeless-serving 
agencies and local programs.

V. Guidelines for Reviewing and Revising State Policies and Procedures

    Section 722(g)(1)(I) requires, in the State Plan, a demonstration 
that the State educational agency and local educational agencies in the 
State have developed, and shall review and revise, policies to remove 
barriers to the identification of homeless children and youths, and the 
enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in schools in 
the State, including barriers to enrollment and retention due to 
outstanding fees or fines, or absences. The following are examples of 
effective ways in which a State may review and revise State policies 
and procedures that may present barriers to the identification, 
enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and 
youths:

(1) Convening a Statewide Advisory Committee To Review State Policies 
and Procedures

    An SEA may form a broad-based committee of experts and stakeholders 
to review relevant State policies and procedures affecting homeless 
children and youths and provide input on changes that may be needed. 
Such a committee could include representatives of the State 
coordinator's office; other SEA officials, including transportation 
officials; representatives from other State agencies, including public 
health and social services agencies; LEA officials, including LEA 
liaisons; legislative staff; homeless families and youths; and advocacy 
groups. The committee should review State laws, rules, regulations, 
letters, memoranda, and guidance documents to ensure that the State's 
policies comply with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act. The 
committee should pay particular attention to issues concerning 
transportation policies; student records and record-transfer 
requirements; enrollment of unaccompanied youths, including 
guardianship requirements; procedures for resolving enrollment 
disputes; and barriers resulting from school-related fees or school 
uniform policies.

(2) Soliciting Public Comment

    A State may use a public comment process to solicit input on 
policies and procedures that should be revised to remove barriers to 
homeless children and youths' identification, enrollment, attendance, 
and school success. This process can include public hearings and 
meetings as well as the online submission of comments. This process 
could include sharing and analyzing existing EHCY data and conducting a 
survey of LEA liaisons and homeless youth and families. The SEA should 
engage specific stakeholder groups, including homeless children and 
youths and their families, to encourage them to provide comment. This 
process can be reopened biennially or annually as a request for 
information.

(3) Consulting With the Federal EHCY Program Office's Technical 
Assistance Contractor, the National Center for Homeless Education 
(NCHE), and Participating in Facilitated Peer Workgroups

    The Federal EHCY program office and NCHE will work with State 
coordinators to disseminate information on innovative policies and 
approaches to implementation from across the country so that State 
Coordinators can learn from each other to improve statewide policy and 
practice. States may convene and/or join ad-hoc topical workgroups or a 
regular community of practice, as well as access more general Webinars 
and written advice, for crafting comprehensive State plans. NCHE will 
also facilitate the peer review of State plans and create ways to 
disseminate exemplary policies and practices after plans have been 
approved by the Department.

(4) Ensuring Sufficient Capacity in its Office of the Coordinator

    Ensuring the Office of the Coordinator has sufficient capacity is 
critical to facilitating an effective review of policies and 
procedures. This review is essential for (1) developing State plans, 
(2) providing for the professional development of LEA liaisons, and (3) 
providing for technical assistance to LEA liaisons. Beyond the 
development

[[Page 14436]]

of the State plan, the Office of the Coordinator should be able to 
analyze LEA data on enrollment or other demographic information for 
patterns of possible under-identification of homeless children and 
youths or subgroups across the State. Such under-identification may 
necessitate the revision of policies and procedures.
    As previously communicated by the Department in 2014 and 2015, for 
FY 2016 and FY 2017, the Office of the Coordinator should have the 
capacity to create annual work plans with measurable goals to improve 
identification, enrollment, attendance, achievement, and graduation for 
homeless students. Creating such annual work plans and setting 
measureable goals are elements included in the Federal EHCY program 
logic model. These elements are also part of the program leading 
indicators developed in 2014, with baseline implementation beginning in 
FY 2015 and further technical assistance coming from NCHE. Engagement 
in these activities affords the Office of the Coordinator an 
opportunity to revisit and revise, as appropriate, policies and 
procedures.

VI. Future Guidance

    In light of the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act under the 
ESSA, the Department is in the process of reviewing current guidance on 
the EHCY program and anticipates issuing updated guidance at a future 
date. General guidance, an email address to submit questions, and other 
information on ESSA is available online at: www.ed.gov/ESSA.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities may obtain this 
notice in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to this Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you 
must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority: Subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento 
Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds 
Act (Pub. L. 114-95).

    Dated: March 14, 2016.
Ann Whalen,
Senior Advisor to the Secretary Delegated the Duties of Assistant 
Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2016-06073 Filed 3-16-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P