Dispute Resolution Procedures
Families and youth in homeless situations may be unaware of their right to dispute placement and enrollment decisions. When disputes are raised, too often, students are kept out of school during the dispute resolution process. This interruption in education can severely damage students’ academic progress. Saint Paul Public School Policy 503.01 requires that disputes regarding the educational placement of a student in a homeless situation will be expeditiously addressed through a dispute resolution process. Parents or guardians and unaccompanied youth must be informed of the process and in the event of the dispute, the student must be immediately enrolled in the school of choice while the dispute is being resolved.
If a family or youth in homeless situations attending school wants to pursue their right to a dispute or if the district disagrees with a parent, guardian or homeless youth regarding an issue related to the rights of a homeless student, the following steps must be taken:
The school district must immediately enroll the students and arrange for transportation and other services as appropriate.
With the involvement of the Title I Homeless Liaison, attempt to discuss the issues to determine if more information is needed to resolve the issue.
If the issue cannot be resolved, a letter will be issued the parent/guardian or youth explaining the district’s position as to the homelessness-related dispute. In this letter, it is important to include referrals the district Ombudsperson (Dana Abrams 651-767-8394), advocates or attorneys.
Either party may send a written request to the Minnesota Department of Education Homeless State Coordinator asking the State Coordinator (Roberto Reyes, 651 582-8302) to review such decision compliance with applicable law. Such request must include any documentation related to the dispute resolution proceeding.
The State Coordinator may request any additional information from either party he or she deems relevant in resolving the issue.