2020-2021 McKinney-Vento Grant Application is now Open!
The WDE is accepting grant applications for the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Grant. All LEAs in Wyoming are eligible to apply through a competitive grant process, regardless of the number of homeless students identified and served in the district. To access the grant application school districts must log in to the Grants Management System (GMS) in the 2020-2021 grant section. The deadline for submission is July 1, 2020. LEAs will be notified no later than August 30, 2020 of grant approvals and award amounts. The number of proposals funded depends on the number and quality of applications received by the WDE
The purpose of McKinney-Vento subgrant funding is to facilitate the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless students in school. Services provided with McKinney-Vento subgrant funds must not replace the regular academic program and must be designated to expand upon or improve services provided to homeless students, as part of the school’s regular academic program, including compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act and related statutes.
Through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act, (ESSA) December 10, 2015, federal funds are available to each state to support programs that meet the needs of homeless children and youths. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) must use the funds to competitively distribute subgrants to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for the establishment of projects which promote the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youths in school and preschool.
LEAs may apply for federal funds that can be used for establishing and improving the LEAs homeless program. As well as, providing activities for, and services to, homeless children and youths, including preschool age homeless children, that enable such children and youths to enroll in, attend and succeed in school, and in preschool programs. In addition, funds can be used to pay for all or part of the LEA’s homeless liaisons salary, and it can be used for professional development related to homelessness for the homeless liaison, school and district staff.
Overview of Legislative Intent
In 2015, Congress reauthorized the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY) Program as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act in Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The amended legislation requires all LEAs to appoint a homeless liaison, whose specific duties include, but are not limited to the following:
- Identify children and youths experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied homeless youths and ensure that they have the opportunity to enroll in and succeed in school, including preschool;
- Ensure that homeless families, children and unaccompanied homeless youths are informed about all programs and services for which they are eligible;
- Disseminate public notice of the educational rights of children and unaccompanied youths in homeless situations; and
- Provide school personnel professional development regarding EHCY implementation.
The legislation further requires immediate enrollment of students experiencing homelessness and transporting them to their school of origin in order to maintain school continuity. It provides for a dispute resolution process in cases where schools and students attempting to enroll are not in agreement regarding the students’ rights to enroll in school. It strengthens the provisions regarding segregation of homeless students and clearly prohibits separate schools. Legislation also requires LEAs to ensure that children experiencing homelessness receive appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a prior school. Furthermore, it emphasizes the need to serve preschool aged children and unaccompanied homeless youths.
Important elements of Wyoming’s State ESSA plan for children and unaccompanied youths experiencing homelessness are, the development and implementation of McKinney-Vento policies, procedures and the identification of homeless children and youths, including preschool age children, to ensure that schools are compliant with the law, and identifying students accurately. In addition, the development of a coordinated, community-driven connectivity plan to ensure quality services to all Wyoming’s children and unaccompanied youths experiencing homelessness. The goal is to encourage coordination and shared responsibility for protecting and serving children and unaccompanied youths experiencing homelessness through a collaborative approach with social service agencies, non-profits, local housing agencies, faith-based programs, and other community-based programs and organizations that provide services to children and unaccompanied youths experiencing homelessness.
All LEAs in Wyoming are eligible to apply for this subgrant through a competitive grant process, regardless of the number of homeless students identified and served.
The number of proposals funded depends on the number and quality of proposals received by the WDE by the close of the application window. WDE reserves the right to close the application without award if no acceptable applications are submitted during this competition window.
LEAs that desire to receive a grant under this program must submit an application to the WDE that includes the following information, as well as other information that the State may require:
- Projects may be designed to focus on improvement to, or development and implementation of McKinney-Vento policies, procedures and the identification of homeless children’s and youths, including preschool age children. And/or;
- Projects may be designed to focus on improvement to, or development and implementation of a coordinated, community-driven plan to ensure quality services to all children and youths experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied homeless youths. And;
- Projects must also be in compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act and related statutes which should include facilitation of the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless students in school, and;
- Services provided with McKinney-Vento subgrant funds must not replace the regular academic program and must be designated to expand upon or improve services provided to homeless students, as part of the school’s regular academic program.
Funding Source: U.S. Department of Education, through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act in Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under this Act, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is responsible for allocating 75% of these funds to LEAs as a competitive subgrant.
Subgrants are awarded on a competitive basis. Awards will be based on:
- The need of the LEA to ensure compliance with all McKinney-Vento requirements focusing on:
- Improvement to or development and implementations of McKinney-Vento policies, procedures and the identification of homeless children and youths, including preschool age children, to ensure that schools are compliant with the law, and identifying students accurately.
- Improvement to or development of coordinated, community-driven connectivity plan to ensure quality services to children and youths experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied homeless youths.
- Commitment to providing services, support, and education for all homeless children and youths.
- The quality of the project.
- Is the project clearly defined and specific?
- Does the project have clear measurable goals?
- Does the project address the needs of homeless students?
- Availability and awarding of funds
- WDE will release preliminary funding amounts once we receive them from the United States Department of Education (USED) each year. This will be a one year subgrant cycle and LEAs can apply for this subgrant each year. Funds will be awarded based on grant application scoring and the number of homeless students the LEA identified on the previous school year’s WDE684 data collection. The minimum grant award amounts are:
Tier 1: 0 to 25 Homeless students identified – Minimum award amount $2500
Tier 2: 26 to 100 Homeless students identified – Minimum award amount $4000
Tier 3: More than 100 Homeless students identified – Minimum award amount $5500
LEAs will be notified in writing no later than August 30 of their subgrant approval and award amount if applicable.
If the WDE approved award amount is different than the amount requested, the LEA will be asked to revise and resubmit all parts of the application (budget pages, narrative, timelines) that are affected, in order to accept that award. If, after all proposals have been funded and there are additional subgrant funds available, they will be added to the selected subgrantees’ awards on proportional basis. Use of McKinney-Vento subgrant funds is limited to the sixteen Authorized Activities provided in Section 723(d) of the Act, found under the Activities Tab of the Competitive Application.
The LEA will be responsible for administering all aspects relating to the project, including, but not limited to, coordinating all financial details, completing all forms, and assuring that all requirements and guidelines are followed. The LEA shall keep an audit trail beginning with the preparation of the application, and shall include records to support the application. These records must show:
- The amount of funds within the grant
- The cost of the project
- The share of the cost provided from other sources (if applicable) and
- Other records to facilitate an effective audit
- The LEA will retain records of the program for five (5) years and will allow access to those records for the purpose of review and audit.
Required Data Collection on Progress Reports
At the end of each funded school year, subgrantees will submit a year-end progress report on subgrant activities. Progress reports are an evaluation tool used to monitor compliance and ensure that programs are meeting goals and achieving outcomes. Subgrantees are required to provide count data on homeless children ages 0-2 and ages 3-5 (not in kindergarten) within the service area. This data will be collected by the WDE from each subgrantee no later than September 1 each year.
Subgrant Projects and District Monitoring
Subgrant program monitoring may be undertaken at any time by the State Coordinator or other WDE staff. Monitoring tools and checklists will be provided in advance of onsite visits or desk audits.
Subgrantee Professional Development Requirements
The designated LEA liaison must attend the Wyoming Homeless Education Workshop at the STAR conference each year. It is also recommended that staff serving as school level liaisons also attend this conference. The designated LEA liaison is also encouraged to attend the annual National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Annual (NAEHCY) conference.