By Keshia Clukey
10/12/2017 02:51 PM EDT
Original Press Release
The state Education Department today issued guidance to school districts regarding the rights of students displaced by the recent hurricanes — which include access to free meals and immediate enrollment.
Students who are temporarily displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, may be homeless and in temporary housing, and their records may have been destroyed.
The department advised schools that those students are covered under the McKinney-Vento Act, allowing them to enroll in school wherever they are living temporarily even if they missed enrollment deadlines or don’t have proper documentation. They also are eligible for Title I services and services to support students with disabilities and English-language learners, according to a press release.
The guidance was issued as some districts already are seeing families from impacted areas including Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other countries in the Caribbean to relocate to New York, with more expected in the coming weeks and months, according to the release.
“Children displaced from their homes, and everything that is familiar to them, face unique challenges as they enter a new school in a new state. This guidance provides districts with the information they need to quickly enroll these children and help re-establish a sense of normalcy in their lives,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said in the released statement.