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left more than 1 million people homeless, including over 250,000 school children.
The number of child refuges is likely to climb as we hear from more small, rural
school systems in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. (Source: NPR
article on returning children to school)
As families leave devastated
areas, many will disperse to friends and relatives homes across the
country. These people are not self sufficient anymore. They are stunned and helpless,
not ready to start their lives over in a new city with a water bottle and a few
vouchers for food.
As attorney Mike O'Connor points out in Education
Rights of Homeless Children,
"For children who have been traumatized by the loss of home, friends, and
perhaps death or injury of family members, returning to school is not only important
for educational purposes; attendance at a school becomes an oasis of normalcy
Homeless Assistance Act is the federal law that governs the education of homeless
children. This law provides many rights to homeless children and their families,
and many responsibilities to school districts. (Wrightslaw reformatted the law
so it is easy to read, print, and distribute to schools, social service agencies,
shelters, and child advocates who are responsible for homeless children)
Rights of Homeless Children - Attorney Mike O'Connor summarizes the basic education rights of
all homeless children and the rights of children with disabilities. The article
includes websites that offer more detailed information.
and Students with Disabilities: Educational Rights and Challenges published
by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
Coordinators for Homeless Education - Every state is required by federal law
to have a State Coordinator for Homeless Education. This person is responsible
for ensuring the understanding of and compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act in public schools throughout the state.
Center for Homeless Education - The Center provides research, resources, and
information enabling communities to address the educational needs of children
and youth experiencing homelessness.
Saving Lives: Including People with Disablilities in Emergency Planning -
The National Council on Disability (NCD) issued
this report in April, and recommended immediate changes in emergency planning
for people with disabilities.
Education Online Forum - A service of the National Center for Homeless Education
Online Training Presentations - PowerPoint Presentation, sample letters, and
many PDF information handouts for administrators and community workers
National Association for Education of Homeless
Children & Youth - a national grassroots membership association, serves
as the voice and the social conscience for the education of children and youth
in homeless situations; connects educators, parents, advocates, researchers and
service providers to ensure school enrollment and attendance for children and
youth whose lives have been disrupted by the lack of safe, permanent and adequate
Center for Homeless Education (funded by U.S. Department of Education) - provides
research, resources, and information to address the educational needs of children
and youth experiencing homelessness.
and Grants for Educating Homeless Children
for Homeless Children and Youth Program - Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Non-Regulatory
Guidance, July 2004
Guidance for Homeless Children in the School Nutrition Programs - U.S. Department
for Survivors of Hurricane Katrina
to Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - This is an incredibly comprehensive
database of information for survivors of Hurricane Katrina and for those who want
to help from Meredith Warshaw of the Uniquely
Gifted site. Ways to Help
includes links to disaster relief information - how to register with FEMA, information
on finding loved ones, housing, donations, how to volunteer, schooling & homeschooling,
and animal rescue. There is also section with Houston-specific information. Read
Disaster Relief: Information for People with Disabilities and People Who Want
to Help Them - Information about people who are donating space in their accessible
homes, people who need accessible homes; how to donate time, durable medical equipment,
disposable goods; more.
Professionals - The Office of The Surgeon General and the Office of Public
Health Emergency Preparedness are mobilizing healthcare professionals and relief
personnel to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. If you have expertise
as a health care professional, please go to https://volunteer.hhs.gov
or call toll-free number 1-866-KAT MEDI to volunteer.
Support Systems for Community Members
and Girls Clubs of America
Pages for Kids with Disabilities
Last updated: 09/25/08