Dispute Resolution for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Districts and community schools can increase the educational stability of students experiencing homelessness through meaningful collaboration and awareness. In situations where the district or community school may consider residency determination, personnel should first evaluate whether the student is experiencing homelessness and eligible for provisions and flexibility. The homeless education liaison and other personnel can establish personal relationships and work closely with families and students to informally settle most disputes regarding eligibility, enrollment or school selection.  

Triangle showing the four steps of the dispute resoution process that is explained below,The formal dispute resolution process may be required when there are concerns about eligibility or when the school selection is not in the best interest of the student. 

When a formal dispute arises, the district or community school is required by federal law to:
 
  1. Ensure that the student remains enrolled or, when appropriate, is immediately                              enrolled;  
  2. Provide the parent/guardian or youth with a written notice and explanation of decisions made related to homeless eligibility, school selection or enrollment and                          the rights to appeal the decision; and 

  3. Refer the dispute to the local homeless education liaison to ensure the prompt                              resolution of the dispute. 

The local homeless education liaison can ensure prompt resolution by following the Ohio dispute resolution process: 

Written Local Determination: The community school or district can seek to informally resolve the dispute at the local level. The community school or district is responsible for issuing a written local determination to the family with further explanation of the dispute if an informal resolution cannot be reached. 

Written Local Appeal: If the family or youth decides to appeal the decision, the homeless education liaison is responsible for assisting the family or youth in writing an appeal. The appeal will address the written local determination and any additional factors that support the family or youth’s objection to the written local determination. 

District Response to Appeal: The community school or district will respond in writing to the family or youth’s appeal. If the community school or district and family or youth do not arrive at a mutual agreement, then the dispute may be sent to the state homeless education coordinator for a final determination. 

Final State Appeal: Submit final appeals via email to HomelessEducation@education.ohio.gov with required details and documents. Required documents include the written notice, the written appeal, all supporting evidence and a detailed timeline of how the school or district communicated with and supported the student(s) throughout the dispute. 

Final State Determination: The decision of the state is final and is issued to all parties to the dispute.  

 Related Resources: 

Last Modified: 4/9/2024 7:17:50 PM