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Homeless Education & Foster Care Liaison

Sara Hernandez Sara Hernandez

Homeless Education Liaison & Foster Care Liaison

(956) 473-6471



Homeless Education – Title I and McKinney-Vento Provisions Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

The McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures that all school-aged children and youth experiencing homelessness are entitled to the same free and appropriate public education that is provided to non-homeless students. State law also addresses the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Texas Education Code (TEC) §§ 25.001, 25.002, and 29.153 address educational rights concerning school admission and preschool for homeless students.

Definition of Homeless: A student between the ages of 4 to 22, who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Specifically, if student lives under any of these conditions:

  • Living in a shelter (family, youth or domestic violence shelter or transitional living program)
  • Living in a motel, hotel or weekly rate housing
  • Living in a house or apartment with more than one family because of economic hardship or loss
  • Living in an abandoned building, in a car, at a campground or no the streets
  • Living in a substandard housing (without electricity, heat or water)
  • Living with friends or family because youth is a runaway or unaccompanied youth

If your school age children are experiencing any of these difficulties, please contact the District’s Homeless Liaison to discuss how United ISD can help support students during this COVID-19 time period.

Services Provided

The Federal McKinney-Vento Act and Texas State Law guarantee that if you meet eligibility requirements you may:

  • Enroll in school even without records
  • Continue to attend the school in which you were last enrolled, even if you have moved away from that school's attendance zone or district
  • Receive transportation from your current residence back to your school of origin
  • Qualify automatically for district free/reduced lunch and other district food programs
  • Participate fully in all school activities and programs for which you are eligible; and
  • Contact the district liaison to resolve any disputes that arise during the enrollment process

Dispute Resolution

If a parent disagrees on the eligibility, school selection or enrollment please contact Sara Hernandez, Homeless Liaison. The Act requires schools to enroll students immediately to the school in which they are seeking enrollment, until the dispute reaches its final resolution, including all appeals. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(E)(i). For unaccompanied youth, the liaison must ensure the youth is immediately enrolled in the school in which the youth seeks enrollment pending resolution of the dispute. 42 U.S.C. §11432(g)(3)(E)(iv). Since the Act defines “enroll” to include attending classes and participating fully in school activities, students must be afforded full participation and provided all appropriate services while the dispute is pending.

Information for Parents

Foster Care & Student Success

The goal of United ISD is to provide administrators with useful information that will guide them in creating a positive educational experience for students in foster care.  The district wants campus administrators to be familiar with the complexities of the foster care system and the relevant laws and policies that influence a student in foster care’s educational experience.  The district wants to centralize foster care and education information while increasing awareness and promoting improved cross-system practices and partnerships that benefit students in foster care.  Working to achieve these goals, United ISD strives to fulfill the education provisions of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 that promote school stability and require coordination across child welfare and educational systems.


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Homeless Education Liaison

Homeless Education - Community Resources